EU ambition for offshore wind is achievable

wind farm The report concludes that 212GW should be deployed in the North Sea. Image: iStock
Industry Database

The EU Commission’s ambition to achieve between 230 and 450GW in offshore wind energy by 2050 is achievable with the right investments in electricity grids and the right approach to maritime spatial planning, concludes a new report.

WindEurope’s report, ‘Our energy, our future’, examines where 450GW of offshore wind could be deployed most cost-effectively around Europe. The 450GW IS part of a European Commission scenario to deliver climate neutrality by 2050.

Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope, said the report shows that Europe could produce enough offshore wind to meet the 2050 goal of decarbonising energy however, “three things need to happen: (1) the offshore wind supply chain keeps growing; (2) we build the grid connections; and (3) we get the maritime spatial planning right”.

Location logistics

The report concludes that 212GW should be deployed in the North Sea, 85GW in the Atlantic (including the Irish Sea), 83GW in the Baltic, and 70GW in the Mediterranean and other Southern European waters.

With a different approach to maritime spatial planning, much more wind infrastructure could be built at low prices than currently possible. Multiple use, e.g. allowing certain types of fishing in offshore wind farms, would really help, said the report.

To get to 450GW offshore wind by 2050 it is crucial that Governments provide visibility on volumes and revenue schemes to give long-term confidence for the necessary investments, found the report.

Offshore grid investments will need to rise from less than €2bn in 2020 to up €8bn a year by 2030.

Europe also needs to provide a regulatory framework for offshore wind farms that have grid connections to more than one country to enable the pooling of assets and infrastructure and reduction of costs.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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