Europe’s energy security: North Sea offshore wind to power the EU

European leaders meet in Denmark to discuss the role of North Sea offshore wind in strengthening the EU’s energy security.

Today, 18 May 2022, the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, will participate in an Offshore Wind Summit alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The meeting will be held in the Port of Esbjerg (Denmark), which is one of Europe’s leading offshore wind ports.

In a joint declaration, the participants are set to highlight the role of North Sea offshore wind in strengthening the EU’s energy security. They are set to sign a declaration on a common vision for offshore wind and related infrastructure in the North Sea. The event coincides with the presentation of the EU’s REPowerEU action plan, which will also underline the central role of offshore wind energy.

The REPowerEU action plan consists of its strategic plan to wean Europe off Russian fossil fuel imports and accelerate the expansion of renewables. Von der Leyen’s presence in Esbjerg underlines how central the expansion of wind energy is for Europe’s energy system.

North Sea offshore wind

“It is fantastic that the four EU North Sea Heads of Government and the European Commission President are coming together in Denmark to make new commitments on offshore wind,” declared Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO. “And that they are doing so the very day the EU launches its big REPowerEU action plan to transform Europe’s energy system.”

To strengthen Europe’s energy security, REPowerEU intends wind energy to grow from 190 GW today to 480 GW in 2030. This requires the simplification of permitting and concerted action to strengthen Europe’s wind energy supply chain. It also requires massive investments in offshore grid infrastructure, port facilities, and vessels.

European wind energy

“480 GW by 2030 – the European Union and Member States want much more wind energy,” commented Jochen Eickholt, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy CEO. “Siemens Gamesa is ready to take up the challenge to deliver these additional volumes.

“But Europe’s wind energy supply chain is in bad health. Costs for raw materials and components are increasing. Auction design is mainly cost-driven while the risk is not well distributed along the value chain. The industry is struggling to be profitable. Abstract targets alone are not enough. We need targeted support to maintain Europe’s technology leadership in offshore wind.”

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