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European Parliament is backing offshore wind.

12.07.2007

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) welcomes the European Parliament’s resolution on a future maritime policy voted on 12 July. The text specifically calls on the European Commission to launch an Offshore Action Plan to foster the deployment of offshore wind power in European waters.

”Once again, the European Parliament shows its strong commitment to renewables. If we want to reap its full benefits, and maintain EU leadership, Europe needs to develop, without further delay, a specific action plan for offshore wind”, said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of EWEA.

‘Offshore production offers a range of opportunities for Europe not only in bringing concrete solutions to current energy challenges but also in terms of industry development, technology exports and employment’, Kjaer added.

As a response to the European Commission’s consultation on the future maritime policy, the Parliament’s resolution acknowledges unambiguously the crucial role offshore wind could play in reaching the 20% renewable target by 2020 agreed last march by the Member States.

Rapporteur MEP Willy Piecyk (PES, DE) stresses that ‘onshore and offshore wind power has very substantial potential for development and could make a major contribution to climate protection’. The report points out, however, that enormous efforts are still needed to fully develop this potential; therefore the Parliament calls on the Commission to draw up an offshore wind energy action plan embodying an efficient European approach to offshore technology, promoting more extensive grid interconnection and indicating the prospects for achieving at least 50 GW by 2020

Before the summer, EWEA submitted its contribution to the debate: for large scale offshore wind to happen, a European framework for the development of offshore wind power is needed. An action plan constitutes the first step of a long term strategy which should result in an improved economic environment for offshore wind sufficient to enable projects to be developed commercially and harness the vast untapped offshore wind potential in Europe.

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