International

The EU is accelerating offshore wind integration

EU advisors Tor Arne Johnsen and Martine Elise Farstad
by Martine Farstad
EU Adviser

EU's Action Plan for Electricity Grids focuses on enhancing the efficiency of electricity grids and accelerating the deployment of renewable energy such as offshore wind.

The European Commission has introduced a comprehensive 14-point Action Plan, aligned with the Wind Power Package released in October. A major highlight of the Action Plan is its approach to offshore renewables, particularly offshore wind. Recognising the societal benefits that extend beyond hosting countries, the plan addresses the complexities of integrating offshore renewables, emphasising the need for a clear cost-sharing framework among Member States.

Key components of the Action Plan include initiatives to strengthen grid supply chains, positioning the EU as a global leader in manufacturing power system components. Anticipatory investments, particularly in future-proof offshore networks, are underscored, allowing for the expansion of meshed offshore grids and grid connections to ports for onshore electricity supply.

This is great news! Integrating the potential of offshore wind farms with a modernised and efficient electricity grid, featuring larger capacity, marks a crucial step in the right direction. We're pleased to see the EU's focus on the supply chain. The action plan not only signifies the EU's recognition but also its commitment to investing in the vital grid connections for the future.

Martine Elise Farstad, EU advisor in Norwegian Offshore Wind.

Highlighting the critical role of interconnected energy networks in the EU's internal energy market, the plan foresees a total investment of €584 billion by 2030 to upgrade Europe's electricity grids.

The Commission also announced 166 new Projects of Common Interest and Projects of Mutual Interest. Notably, a new category on offshore infrastructure features 12 projects in the North Seas, Baltic Sea, and the Atlantic.

Emphasising early collaboration, the Commission urges Member States and regulatory authorities to identify network needs and discuss collaboration principles, including cost-sharing for cross-border projects. To facilitate this, the Commission will issue specific guidance on cross-border cost-sharing for offshore projects. Acknowledging challenges posed by hybrid interconnector projects, the Commission commits to providing guidance to navigate these complexities for Member States and regulatory authorities.

Read the European Commission’s press release here.

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