North Seas Energy Forum on the 23rd of March in Brussels
In June 2016, the North Seas Energy Cooperation was launched with the signing of a political declaration by the ten energy minister from German, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the United Kingdom. On the 23rd of March, the initiative organized its first stakeholder event in Brussels within framework of the “North Seas Energy Forum” with over 200 participants from the industry and associations. The primary objectives of this cooperation are the cost-efficient expansion of offshore wind energy and the further interconnection of the North Seas countries.
In his introduction, the Director of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, Dominique Ristori, stressed the importance of regional cooperation between the North Sea states and the development of cross-border network grid connections.
In his presentation, Michiel Müller from Ecofys also underlined the importance of offshore wind energy to achieve a complete decarbonization by 2050. For example, offshore wind energy could cover up to 90% of the electricity demand for the North Sea states by 2050 with an installed capacity of 250 GW. This would require an annual expansion of 7 GW in Europe.
In four parallel workshops, the various work programs of the cooperation were explained in detail. These include Maritime Spatial Planning (Support Group 1 – SG1), Development and Regulation of Offshore Networks and Infrastructure (Support Group 2 – SG2), Political Framework and Financing of Offshore Wind Projects (Support Group 3 – SG3) as well as Standards, Technical Rules and Regulations for the Offshore Wind Sector (Support Group 4 – SG4).
In SG2 the Managing Director of the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, Andreas Wagner, as a representative of a WindEurope taskforce presented the industry’s position on the challenges of developing a common offshore grid. The EU project PROMOTioN was also presented by the project coordinator DNV GL.
At the end of the event, a letter of intent was signed by Mel Kroon (CEO TenneT) and Torben Glar Nielsen (CEO Energinet.dk) to promote the idea of the so-called North Sea Wind Power Hub.