European Commission unveils offshore renewable energy strategy

Submitted by Lee Gibson on 19 November 2020

The European Commission has unveiled the European Union (EU) Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy as it steps up efforts to make the Union climate neutral by 2050.

The Strategy proposes to increase Europe's offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12 GW to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050.

The Commission aims to complement this with 40 GW of ocean energy and other emerging technologies such as floating wind and solar by 2050.

This ambitious growth will be based on the vast potential across all of Europe's sea basins and on the global leadership position of EU companies in the sector.

The strategy also aims to create new opportunities for industry, generate green jobs across the continent, and strengthen the EU's global leadership in offshore energy technologies.

Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “This strategy shows the urgency and opportunity of ramping up our investment in offshore renewables. With our vast sea basins and industrial leadership, the European Union has all that it needs to rise up to the challenge.

"Already, offshore renewable energy is a true European success story. We aim to turn it into an even greater opportunity for clean energy, high quality jobs, sustainable growth, and international competitiveness.”

Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “Europe is a world leader in offshore renewable energy and can become a powerhouse for its global development.

"We must step up our game by harnessing all the potential of offshore wind and by advancing other technologies such as wave, tidal and floating solar. This Strategy sets a clear direction and establishes a stable framework, which are crucial for public authorities, investors and developers in this sector.

"We need to boost the EU's domestic production to achieve our climate targets, feed the growing electricity demand and support the economy in its post-Covid recovery.” 

To promote the scale-up of offshore energy capacity, the Commission will encourage cooperation between EU Member States on long term planning and deployment. This will require integrating offshore renewable energy development into the National Maritime Spatial Plans which coastal states are due to submit to the Commission by March 2021.

The Commission estimates that investment of nearly €800 billion will be needed between now and 2050 to meet its proposed objectives.

Find out more here.

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