European Commission Proposes 300 GW Offshore Wind Target For 2050

The European Commission proposed a 60-gigawatt offshore wind
target for 2030 on Thursday, a highly ambitious goal that�would
require an additional 48 GW of installed capacity in just under a
decade.

A longer-term 300 GW by 2050 target will also be established in
support of the EU’s net-zero carbon by the midcentury goal. The
electrification of heat and transport, as well as an aggressive

green hydrogen strategy
, will require a massive target of this
kind. Last year the Commission said its net-zero target, and the
broader goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius,
would require between 240 and 450 GW of offshore wind.

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

The question now is how these targets will be met by European
Union nations. No central tender program for renewables at the
EU-level now exists. That’s a job for national governments.

But the EC can provide access to numerous sources of additional
funding for grid investments, manufacturing infrastructure and
equipping ports to serve the offshore wind sector. That includes
access to support from the European Investment Bank and the €1.85
trillion ($2.08 trillion) economic recovery package.

Just as crucial could be the EC’s role in coordinating marine
and grid
planning efforts
. Coastal member states are submitting
individual seabed plans by March 2021 that will then be used as the
basis for planning and cooperation.

Transnational cooperation needed for offshore wind, transmission
buildout

The Commission wants countries using the same waters for
offshore projects to cooperate on transmission infrastructure. A
mechanism for cross border investment in renewable projects is also

in development
. It would enable member states to fund projects
in others EU member countries and share the benefits. The investor
nation would get the contribution to its climate goals, the host
nation would get the power.

Leading developer Ørsted welcomed the move to a more joined-up
strategy.

“We see it as a logical next step to start building offshore
wind farms with large interconnectors to several countries,â€
Rasmus Errboe, head of continental Europe at Ørsted Offshore, said
in a statement. “The European Commission agrees on this and we
hope to see the first hybrid-tenders, like the Danish Bornholm and
North Sea Energy Hubs, take place within the next few years.â€

So where will the GWs come from?

Germany has a 2030 target of 20 GW, France is looking to tender
8.75 GW by 2028 and the Netherlands 11.5 GW. Substantial
contributions from Belgium, Denmark, Poland and the Baltic nations
are also expected.

The strategy aims to develop commercial-scale
floating wind
projects too. That would open up the
Mediterranean Sea for projects as well as increasing the available
real estate in the North Sea, Black Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

“It is important to invest in new technologies and
innovation,†said Giles Dickson, CEO at the trade body
WindEurope. “Floating offshore will be up to a third of all
offshore capacity by 2050. Now is the time to invest in large-scale
demonstration projects to reduce costs. But continued R&I
investments in bottom-fixed technology will also pay off. The
learning curve is far from over yet.â€

Source: FS – GreenTech Media
European Commission Proposes 300 GW Offshore Wind Target For
2050