(Montel) Ministers of nine northwestern EU countries have agreed to commit to a combined annual offshore wind capacity auction of 15 GW to improve planning and coordination, they said after a joint meeting on Monday.
The aim is to give offshore wind developers and supply chain companies certainty over the awarding of almost 100 GW in new offshore wind projects by 2030 to be located across the northern seas, including the North Sea, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
“This helps the European wind power sector with their mid- and long-term planning. Moreover, the countries will better coordinate their infrastructure planning at sea,” the ministers said following this year’s second North Seas Energy Cooperation conference in Dutch city, The Hague.
The participating countries alongside the European Commission were Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, with the UK attending as a guest.
“Our discussions today showed the joint determination and commitment to continue the work to deliver on our offshore ambitions, and to take the work forward to boost the competitiveness of this vital sector,” said EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson.
Last month, the EC announced several measures to support the struggling offshore wind sector that has been hit by cost inflation and supply chain issues.
Some of the measures include speeding up project permitting and planning and facilitating access to finance via EU funds.
At a meeting in April in Belgium, the nations committed to an installed offshore wind capacity of 120 GW by 2030 and at least 300 GW by 2050.
“We all share the responsibility to develop the North Sea offshore energy plans in a responsible manner, in coordination with other North Sea users and minimising ecological impact,” said Dutch energy minister Rob Jetten. The ministry has been co-chairing the group alongside the EC.
“Close collaboration is the only way to successfully reach our energy ambitions. Today we start with the joint actions to take the sector to the next phase.”