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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

North Seas countries accelerate move towards energy independence and commit to 260 GW of offshore wind by 2050

21/9/2022

Close up of offshore wind turbine blade with sea behind Photo: Ørsted
European energy ministers have set offshore wind targets of at least 76 GW by 2030, 193 GW by 2040 and 260 GW by 2050 at a meeting of the North Seas Energy Cooperation

Photo: Ørsted

The member countries of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) have for the first time agreed offshore renewable energy targets for the maritime area of the entire NSEC region, committing to reach at least 260 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.

The NSEC aims to advance offshore renewables in the North Seas, including the Irish and Celtic Seas, and groups together Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission.

 

The ambition, agreed by energy ministers of the NSEC countries at a recent meeting in Dublin, represents more than 85% of the European Union objective of reaching total offshore wind capacity of 300 GW by 2050. The ministers set intermediate targets of at least 76 GW by 2030 and 193 GW by 2040.

 

Cooperation is seen as key to achieving the NSEC countries’ increased offshore ambitions, including in relation to developing offshore grids and facilitating hybrid projects that combine offshore generation with interconnection. The ministers also recognised bottlenecks such as supply chain challenges.

 

Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, commented: ‘In Ireland alone our sea area is seven times our landmass. The North Atlantic and North Sea comprise some of the windiest locations on the globe. It is our greatest collective resource of continuous energy and it is momentous that we have agreed today to be ambitious in our targets, as a collective. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the consequential energy price shock and security of supply crisis has shown us how crucial it is that we move away, as quickly as possible, from our reliance on expensive and ransomed fossil fuels.’

 

The new collective offshore wind target follows a pledge in May by Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands to reach at least 65 GW of offshore capacity by the end of the decade and then more than double it to at least 150 GW by 2050.
 

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