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MoU signed for European offshore supergrid

An agreement to develop an offshore electricity grid has been signed by 10 Ministers from all the European North Sea countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by Ministers and the European Commission in Brussels, is the starting point to create a new offshore grid and to tear down unnecessary and costly barriers to electricity trade between EU Member States, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) reports.

The MoU includes:

  • EU Governments have agreed to cooperate on identifying and eliminating barriers to cross-border electricity trade; and
  • Ministers agree to simplify complex and lengthy authorisation procedures, which today hinder the planning and construction of a transnational offshore grid.

"The European Commission has highlighted that 140 GW of offshore wind power capacity is currently being planned. For us, Europe's wind energy industry, the Memorandum is an indispensable step to create an offshore electricity grid, critical for developing a single European market for electricity and for allowing offshore wind farms to plug into that grid", says Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA.

RenewableUK welcomes signing

Dr Gordon Edge, RenewableUK’s Director of policy, says: “Large scale interconnection with our European neighbours is vital if we are to connect up our massive offshore wind potential and integrate it into European Markets. Today’s agreement is a vital first step forward in agreeing the rules of the game without which investment cannot happen.”

The Ministers from 9 EU member states and Norway have agreed to start working on regulatory and technical issues, as evidence points to the fact that sourcing electricity from a wider European geographical pool of generators can both increase use of renewable electricity and drive down cost to the consumer.

“We are delighted that the UK Government is signatory to this Memorandum and we would urge them to stick to the timetable of delivery,” Edge adds.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power