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European summit to spur wind energy production in North Sea

  • 5 months ago (2023-04-24)
  • David Flin
Europe 1023 Offshore wind 118

Nine European countries are holding a summit to discuss scaling up wind power generation in the North Sea. The summit is being held in Belgium, and will be attended by the leaders of France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, with Ursula von der Leven, President of the European Commission. Norway and Britain will also be participating.

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Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, said that the goal was for enough North Sea wind farms to be built to produce 130 GW by the end of this decade, with that capacity more than doubling to 300 GW by 2050. De Croo said that developments over the past year meant energy was now, “more than ever, a geopolitical topic.”

He said that the summit was focused on “speed of execution”, notably by standardising the infrastructure needed so that North Sea wind farms could be built faster and cheaper.

Currently, Britain has the largest fleet of offshore wind farms, 45 farms producing 14 GW, with plans to expand capacity to 50 GW by 2030.

Germany is next, with 30 wind farms producing 8 GW, followed by the Netherlands with 2.8 GW, and Belgium and Denmark both with 2.3 GW.

An official at the French presidency said: “For us, as with our neighbours, offshore wind energy will probably be the main source of renewable energy production between 2030 and 2050, far ahead of solar energy and land wind farms.” The official also noted that as the North Sea is relatively shallow, turbine can be installed fairly easily in large numbers. France aims to have 40 GW in offshore output by 2050.