The European Union has set a new, ambitious goal for the deployment of offshore wind energy by 2050 in each of the EU’s five sea basins. The EU has agreed to install approximately 111 GW of offshore renewable generation capacity by the end of this decade, which is nearly twice as much as the objective of at least 60 GW set out in the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy in November 2020. Furthermore, this goal is expected to rise to around 317 GW by mid-century
These agreements are the result of strong regional cooperation of the EU member states. By going beyond national approaches, EU countries are creating a framework for a trans-European method that allows for a cost-effective expansion of grids needed to incorporate the expected offshore wind generation with the least environmental impacts and tackle internal bottlenecks.
The “European Network of Transmission System Operators” will now propose strategic integrated offshore network development plans, giving visibility to grid promoters, investors, and the supply chain on what offshore grids to expect for each sea basin by 2050. These plans are based on national energy and climate plans, the offshore renewable potential of each sea basin, environmental protection, climate adaptation, and other uses of the sea, as well as the EU’s decarbonization targets. The plans will also include guidance on cross-border cost-sharing for the development and maintenance of the sea-basin offshore network.
With the recent agreement, the European Union opened up the opportunity to set the new global standard for the future of offshore renewable energy. The aim to achieve a combined total of 111 GW of renewable generation marks a significant step forward in the implementation of the EU’s Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, and lays the foundation for a cost-effective expansion of grids and the incorporation of expected offshore generation.