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Policy, Press2005

Strategy calls on EU Ministers to develop a common European policy for offshore wind energy

28.10.2005

EWEA - the European Wind Energy Association - welcomed today the Copenhagen Strategy published by the participants of the Copenhagen Policy Seminar on European Wind Power Deployment. It calls on the Council of Ministers to ask the European Commission to initiate a European policy for offshore wind power in the form of an Action Plan on offshore wind power deployment.

The Strategy, which was agreed between representatives from Member States, Energy Agencies,NGOs and the industry, also recommends the establishment of a Wind Energy Technology Platform (3) under the 7th Framework Programme, as proposed by the July 2004 Informal Competitive Council, under the framework of a Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).

The Copenhagen Strategy states that “in the long term the prospects for offshore wind power are promising, the technology faces a number of challenges in terms of technological performance, impacts on the local environment, competition for space with other marine users, compatibility with the European grid infrastructure and secure integration in the energy system as well as being fully competitive in the European liberalised electricity market”.

“EU-wide collaboration is necessary in order to fully exploit offshore wind energy, one of Europe’s largest indigenous energy resources. Europe is running low on oil and gas and prices are rising. This initiative of European Member States and energy agencies is an essential step forward to ensure Europe gains control of its own energy future”, said Arthouros Zervos, President of EWEA. “It is self-evident that offshore wind can happen faster and cheaper with European collaboration on key issues such as research and grid integration”.

The Chairman of the Seminar, Mr. Jim Campbell from the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry said: “Offshore wind in Europe is at a crucial junction in its development. Early results from the first offshore wind projects have been promising. But it is clear that there remain barriers in the way of its fuller development. EU policy makers have a key part to play working with industry to remove those hurdles. The Copenhagen Strategy we have adopted today presents an agreed way forward to tackling a number of those challenges.”

“I am especially pleased that representatives from Member States, Energy Agencies, NGOs and the industry have unanimously agreed that the outcome of today’s meeting will be followed up by concrete measures to bring forward offshore wind energy in Europe, in close cooperation with the European Commission”, said Peter Helmer Steen, Deputy Director General, Danish Energy Authority Ministry of Transport and Energy.

The participants to the European Seminar listed a series of action points on three main issues relating to the development of offshore wind energy in Europe:

  • Grid integration of large scale offshore wind
  • Environment
  • Market development

Key points of the Declaration include:

  • “The participants call on the Council of Ministers to ask the [European] Commission to initiate a European policy for wind power starting with the production of an Action Plan on offshore wind power deployment” […]
  • “Participants recommend that Member States clearly define, streamline and expedite procedures in order to provide for speedy and efficient decision making procedures for offshore wind developments”
  • “Levelling the playing field is important for large-scale integration of wind power in the liberalised electricity market. Participants stress the need for Member States to take the necessary measures to guarantee the transmission and distribution of electricity produced from renewable energy sources”
  • “Participants consider the need for long term grid planning (at local, regional, national and EU levels) essential to enable the integration of large scale (offshore) wind energy. […] Political support to facilitate the issuing of permits to build the necessary grid connections or reinforcements is also considered essential by the participants”
  • “In order to arrive at a long term stable investment, participants recommend an increased collaboration between the wind-power industry, utilities and financial institutions to finance offshore wind power initiatives (EIB, EBRD, ECAs, Structural Funds, commercial banks etc)”
  • “Participants [therefore] call on the EU-Commission, power companies, TSOs, Member-States, the European Wind Industry and research institutions to co-operate in the development of innovative solutions for offshore projects with a strong focus on cost reductions and mitigation of unwanted environmental consequences”
  • "Participants urge parties involved in the establishment of the European Technology Platform for Wind Energy with the aim of a more extensive Joint Technology Initiative to structure the platform in such a way that it will:
    - contain an independent chapter for offshore wind power;
    - allow for international co-operation between all relevant public and private stakeholders;
    - allow for both long term research and short-term operational measures;
    - be transparent in activities and results.”
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