Industry calls for north seas grid focus

EUROPE: Governments need to work together more closely if a grid in Europe's northern seas is to be realised, according to an industry group.

Offshore wind in the northern seas could generate over 8% of Europe’s electricity by 2030
Offshore wind in the northern seas could generate over 8% of Europe’s electricity by 2030

Over 20 businesses and associations have written to the ten energy ministers in the North Sea region to stress the need for collaboration on the grid. They said the grid would help integrate offshore wind into the bloc's electricity network.

The letter read: "Coordination on planning and building a regional offshore grid infrastructure, market access and reserve sharing in the North Seas region could lead to cost savings of €5-13 billion per year by 2030 through a better integrated and more competitive regional market."

It concluded with a list of suggestions of what should be discussed at next week's meeting. These include: an endorsement of the grid as a key focus; a proposal for a legal framework to be drawn up; and a fund to attract private investors.

The letter was sent ahead of an Informal Energy Council meeting in Luxembourg next week. Signatories included Siemens, RES, Alstom, Senvion, ABB, Mainstream, Renewable UK and EWEA.

The letter argued a grid was an important element of the European Commission's Energy Union plan, but was left out of the strategic framework published in February.

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