Visit offshore wind farm in North Sea
In the light of the European Commission’s upcoming Communication on offshore wind energy, EWEA organised a boat trip to an offshore wind farm for the press this week.
In the light of the European Commission’s upcoming Communication on offshore wind energy, EWEA organised a boat trip to an offshore wind farm for the press this week. “Europe needs to strengthen the development of offshore wind power in order to meet its target of 20% of energy consumption from renewables by 2020.” Secretary-General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Steve Sawyer told participants. Renewable Energy Directive Rapporteur Claude Turmes was also on board to emphasise the importance of a fast adoption of a stable legislative framework for the power source.
The journalists visited the Princess Amalia offshore wind farm in the North Sea, which started operating this year. With a total capacity of 120 MW, coming from 60 turbines, the wind farm is situated 23km from the Dutch coast - further from land than any other.
“We organised the trip to allow journalists to see an offshore wind farm for themselves,” explained Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. “The upcoming Communication is of vital significance if the EU is to develop this key resource in enough time to meet the 20% by 2020 target. It should be a first step towards an EU policy framework for offshore wind energy. Hopefully the trip will have allowed the press to gain a better understanding of the complex grid, technical and legislative issues that surround this source of renewable power.”
The Communication on offshore wind energy is due to be published as part of the Commission’s Strategic Energy Review at the end of October. Offshore wind should play a key role in meeting the EU’s 20% by 2020 renewable energy target, with 35 GW installed by then, according to EWEA’s reference scenario, providing 4% of EU electricity. This is up from just over 1 GW installed and 0.1% of electricity today.
To ensure a successful development for 2020 and beyond, however, a legislative framework exclusive to offshore wind needs to be put in place. Other crucial issues to be addressed include improved electricity grid infrastructure and new transmission lines, an optimised supply chain, stable markets, more substantial funding for offshore R&D, and improved planning procedures and regulations.