In line with its goals for EU climate neutrality by 2050, the European Commission presented the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy, proposing to increase Europe’s offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12 GW to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050.
The Commission aims to complement this with 40 GW of ocean energy and other emerging technologies, such as floating wind and solar by 2050.
To meet its proposed objectives, the Commission estimates that investment of nearly €800 billion (USD $1 trillion) will be needed between now and 2050.
Through this strategy, EU seeks to create new opportunities for industry, generate green jobs, and strengthen the EU’s global leadership in offshore energy technologies, while ensuring the protection of environment.
Today’s strategy outlines how we can develop offshore renewable energy in combination with other human activities, such as fisheries, aquaculture or shipping, and in harmony with nature. The proposals will also allow us to protect biodiversity and to address possible socio-economic consequences for sectors relying on good health of marine ecosystems, thus promoting a sound coexistence within the maritime space,
…said Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius.
To promote the scale-up of offshore energy capacity, the Commission will encourage cross-border cooperation between Member States on long term planning and deployment. This will require integrating offshore renewable energy development objectives in the National Maritime Spatial Plans, which coastal states are due to submit to the Commission by March 2021.
In addition, the Commission will propose a framework under the revised TEN-E Regulation for long-term offshore grid planning, involving regulators and Member States in each sea basin.
While the Strategy underlines the opportunities across all of the EU’s sea basins – North Sea, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean and Atlantic – and for certain coastal and island communities, the benefits of these technologies are not limited to coastal regions. The Strategy highlights a broad range of inland areas where research is already supporting offshore energy development.
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