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EC seeks views on how to trigger EU offshore energy supply boom

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EC seeks views on how to trigger EU offshore energy supply boom

Highlights

Eyes up to 450 GW offshore wind by 2050 to cut CO2

Policy, financial support needed for massive scale up

Plans EU offshore energy strategy by end-year

  • Author
  • Siobhan Hall
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Dart
  • Commodity
  • Coal Electric Power

Brussels — The European Commission is seeking views on how to scale up the EU's offshore energy resources, particularly wind, as part of efforts to become climate neutral by 2050.

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It has estimated the EU could need 240-450 GW of offshore wind to help meet its 2050 target, up from around 20 GW in 2019.

"To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, we need to increase the EU's offshore energy production twenty times. This means making it easier to build large-scale offshore wind parks in an environmentally sustainable way," EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said on July 22.

The EC is also interested in the potential for offshore solar energy, and new opportunities in tidal and ocean energy.

The views will feed into its strategy due this autumn intended to help speed up large-scale sustainable offshore energy development by offering "certainties and opportunities" to potential stakeholders, the EC said in a consultation document.

This would include by developing the grid and energy system, market arrangements and related renewable policies.

"Notably, considerable offshore and onshore grid development will be needed to ensure the transport of large amounts of energy to shore and, from there, to cities inland and large consumption sites," the EC said.

The public consultation runs until September 24.

Developing offshore energy will also help the EU meet its 2030 climate targets, the EC said.

The EC has a binding 2030 target to cut its CO2 emissions by at least 40% from 1990 levels, and plans to propose in September increasing this ambition to a 50%-55% cut.

It also plans to propose changes to the EU's energy and climate legislation next summer to align them with the new, stricter 2030 CO2 target.