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Nine countries pledge to turn the North Sea into Europe’s biggest green power plant

Implementation of the North Sea countries' ambitious goals for expanding renewable energy was in focus when heads of state and energy ministers from nine countries gathered at the North Sea Summit II in Ostend. Building on the Esbjerg declaration from 18 May 2022, the now expanded coalition aims for 120 GW offshore wind by 2030 and at least 300 GW by 2050.

With the goal of turning the North Sea into a renewable powerhouse of Europe, nine state and energy leaders meet in Ostend on 25 April to agree on new commitments to ramp up the buildout of offshore wind capacities. The heads of state and energy ministers from nine European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK, meet with the president of the EU Commission and the EU Energy Commissioner.

By signing the Ostend Declaration, the countries agreed to scale up wind power generation in the North Sea for the sake of the climate and to reduce the reliance on imported fossil fuels, with a view to increasing offshore wind generation from 30 GW to 120 GW by 2030 and at least 300 GW by 2050.

Underlining energy security and the fight against climate change as a catalyst for European collaboration, energy ministers from the nine countries similarly penned an agreement to strengthen cooperation to ensure affordable, secure and sustainable energy, while at the same time, continuing efforts to protect the marine ecosystem. Read the Ostend Declaration of Energy Ministers in full.

 

The Ostend Declaration: Making the North Sea a green power plant

Together, the involved parties have signed a declaration to accelerate the deployment of offshore renewables and offshore renewable energy systems in the North Seas, including offshore wind and renewable hydrogen, to ensure affordable, secure, and sustainable energy while reducing fossil fuel consumption and dependence on fossil fuel imports.

The signatory countries are committed to jointly developing the North Seas as a Green Power Plant of Europe, focusing on joint hybrid/multi-purpose and cross-border offshore projects and hubs, offshore wind and renewable hydrogen production at a massive scale, and electricity and hydrogen interconnectors and national projects, including the possibility for co-financing by countries without direct access to the sea.

Relevant and appropriate steps will also be taken to advance the balanced coexistence of renewables deployment, biodiversity, and environmental protection, as well as to contribute to healthy and robust marine ecosystems.

Lastly, the declaration set ambitious targets for offshore wind and renewable hydrogen production, with a combined target of at least 120 GW by 2030 in the North Seas, and a goal of more than doubling the total 2030 capacity of offshore wind to at least 300 GW by 2050. In addition, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom have set combined targets of about 30 GW production capacity already by 2030 and look to expand their production even further by 2050.

Read the Ostend Declaration in full.

 

Five new countries joins the energy collaboration

Last year, the energy ministers of Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands signed the original North Sea declaration in Esbjerg. This year, the energy ministers of France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom have joined the collaboration and consigning the new Oostende declaration.

Together, the countries will strive to realise the common vision of turning the North Sea into the Power Plant of Europe, by individually and collectively achieving ambitious goals for offshore wind energy production.

For example, Denmarkark will enable the deployment of at least 5.3 GW total offshore wind capacity in the North Sea in 2030 with a goal of increasing the capacity to 35 GW in the North Sea by 2050 and potentially more depending on European demand for green power.

Read the Ostend Declaration of Energy Ministers in full.

 

Five Danish agreements to turn ambitions into reality

In addition to the two overarching declarations, Denmark signed a total of five agreements contributing to ensure that the green ambitions become a reality. Several of the agreements boost collaboration with other countries on possible connections between the Danish energy island in the North Sea and foreign energy hubs so that the green power that Denmark produces can benefit consumers and industries across Europe. Below you find a short recap of the five agreements.

In addition to an energy minister’s declaration, the Minister for Climate, Energy and Supply has signed five agreements that will contribute to ensuring that the green ambitions become a reality.

 

The new agreements include:

Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark

The four countries initially agreed on the Esbjerg Declaration last year and will continue to strive to develop the first interconnected system of energy islands and hubs in the North Sea. Today, the countries signed a new agreement that aims to reach the necessary political agreements by 2025, which will allow the transmission companies to continue working and dedicate the necessary resources to analyze the possibilities of connecting all the different energy islands and hubs in the North Sea by the mid-2030s.

Belgium and Denmark

Denmark and Belgium have already entered into agreements aimed at the realization of "TritonLink" - an electricity cable that will connect the Danish energy island in the North Sea to either a Belgian energy island or the Belgian mainland in 2033. Denmark and Belgium have today entered into an agreement to investigate the possibility of building another international connection after 2033.

Germany and Denmark

Denmark and Germany have today started the cooperation on Energiø North Sea by signing an agreement to investigate the possibility of connecting the energy island in the North Sea to a German hub for offshore wind of around 10 GW.

Germany and Denmark

Denmark and Germany have also signed a cooperation declaration on CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). The purpose of signing the declaration with Germany is to signal to the market that Denmark is a serious player when it comes to storing large amounts of CO2.

Great Britain and Denmark

As part of the Danish authorities' cooperation, Denmark and Great Britain have signed a bilateral declaration of intent for the summit on broad cooperation in the energy field, including, among other things, within offshore wind (including exploring the potential of a connection between Great Britain and the Danish energy island), hydrogen, district heating, energy efficiency in buildings and industrial decarbonisation.

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