The North Seas littoral states intend to join forces to speed up the expansion of offshore wind energy: in a joint declaration, Energy Ministers from the members of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the European Commissioner for Energy today agreed on expansion targets of 76 GW by 2030, 193 GW by 2040 and 260 GW by 2050 for the NSEC region. This corresponds to more than 85% of the expansion that is necessary in the EU by 2050 to reach the EU’s goal of climate neutrality. Furthermore, it was announced at the NSEC Ministerial Meeting in Dublin that more hybrid offshore projects which combine wind farms and interconnectors and are linked with several Member States will be developed in future. Together with a better coordination of spatial and network planning, the aim is to establish a closely interconnected offshore network. In addition, it has been agreed to accelerate approval procedures at national level and EU level.
Parliamentary State Secretary Stefan Wenzel said in Dublin: "The North Sea is our engine for clean and reliable green electricity generation from wind energy in the future. But we can harness the huge potential only together with our partners. The declaration signed today with our neighbours and the European Commission shows that cooperation projects and interconnected offshore grids are key. In July, we therefore agreed on the first project with Denmark located around Bornholm to generate three gigawatts of green electricity from offshore wind energy by 2030."
In future, offshore cooperation projects are to play a central role to meet the growing need for imports of electricity from renewables to Germany. At this time, increasing efforts to diversify energy imports are more important than ever. It is therefore the aim of the Federal Government to end dependence especially on imports of Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible, and to look ahead and harness new, clean energy sources.
The Ministerial Meeting of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) follows on from the high-ranking North Sea Energy Summit, which was hosted by Denmark together with Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the European Commission in Esbjerg on 18 May. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Minister Robert Habeck attended the Summit. The participants of the NSEC Ministerial Meeting comprise the countries of the entire NSEC region.
Nine states (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) and the European Commission work together in the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC), which was established in 2016. The cooperation focuses on the expansion of offshore wind energy and offshore grid infrastructure. In 2022, Ireland has assumed the NSEC Presidency.