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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Evolving energy generation in the North Sea


8 min read

Seven offshore wind turbines and a vessel at sea, set against cloudy sky Photo: The joy of all things
Scroby sands wind farm, off Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, East Anglia, England

Photo: The joy of all things

The North Sea is changing from a well of oil and gas to home of diverse green energy projects, most notably with offshore wind. But recent backtracking – such as the UK government’s decision to grant 115 bids for oil and gas extraction licences – demonstrates that this is not a simple transition. Keith Nuthall reports.

The North Sea, tapped for oil and natural gas in earnest since the 1960s by the UK, Norway, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium – is increasingly being utilised as a site for renewable energy projects, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS). But with security of supply concerns intensifying as Europe cuts links with major oil and gas exporter Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, these coastal states have also launched new hydrocarbon exploration and development projects.


A key indicator of future energy sector travel was an agreement signed in April at a North Sea Summit II, staged in Ostend, a major Belgian North Sea port, where Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Norway, the UK, Ireland and even landlocked Luxembourg, signed a declaration committing to major cooperation on developing offshore wind and renewable hydrogen projects.


Targets agreed included generating North Sea offshore wind power of at least 120 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050. Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK also agreed combined targets of about 30 GW production capacity in large-scale onshore and offshore renewable hydrogen production by 2030.


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