Offshore wind to provide green electricity for 230 million European households by 2050
At the North Sea Summit in Esbjerg, Denmark, on 18 May 2022, the Heads of Governments from Denmark, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands took a large step towards independence from fossil fuels as well as climate-neutrality.
Photo credit: the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Utilities.
18 May 2022 is likely to be a date that will be remembered as historic in the future. On this date in Esbjerg, Denmark, the Heads of Government from Denmark, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands signed the Esbjerg Declaration, intended to make the North Sea a future green powerhouse of Europe.
Not only does the declaration dramatically raise the ambitions on renewable energy – the offshore wind capacity in the four countries is to be quadrupled by 2030 – but it also offers a sustainable solution to the geopolitical situation, hereunder the challenges connected to energy, caused by Russia’s unlawful and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
”This summit truly is historic. Today, we opened a new chapter on renewable energy in Europe and delivered an ambitious declaration that will get us closer to achieving the EU’s climate goals. Not only that, these commitments made in Esbjerg will also help Europe become independent from fossil fuels in a sustainable way. With this green leap, the North Sea will become a renewable hub for Europe and provide power to millions of Europeans,” says Danish Minister of Climate and Energy, Dan Jørgensen.
Specifically, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have set ambitious combined targets of at least 65 GW offshore wind by 2030 and at least 150 GW by 2050. This means that the aggregate offshore wind capacity will be increased 10-fold by 2050, equalling half of the necessary capacity to reach EU climate neutrality. The intention is to develop multiple connected offshore energy projects and hubs, offshore wind production at massive scale as well as electricity and green hydrogen interconnectors. An illustration of the North Sea as a green powerhouse for Europe can be seen below:
At the summit, the Ministers of Energy from the four countries also signed several bilateral agreements that cover the ambitious goals of better capacity for green hydrogen and the creation of energy islands in the North Sea. Furthermore, the countries’ Ministers of Energy signed a declaration, which covers:
Cooperation on connecting and maximizing capacity on the first energy island.
Planning the establishment of another energy island or hub in the North Sea.
Work for faster approval processes both nationally and in the EU and ensure more EU funds for offshore wind projects to reduce risks for investors.
Apart from the Heads of Government and Ministers for Energy, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, attended the North Sea Summit. The declarations signed at the summit support the newly presented REPowerEU plan and the EU’s energy transition.
“With the REPowerEU Plan published today, the EU gives another boost to renewable energy and reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, in particular Russian gas. As part of the measures to accelerate the green transition, we have proposed to make permitting in the EU faster and more streamlined, which will help to take full advantage of the offshore wind potential in Europe. The North Sea is the perfect place to lead the way in scaling up the offshore capacity quickly and I welcome the ambitious announcements of today. It is symbolic that we open this new chapter in Denmark, the birth-place of offshore wind technology,“ says Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy.
Contact the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore for more information about business opportunities and how Denmark seeks to inspire green transition in Southeast Asia:
Mark Edward Perry
Head of Trade at the Royal Danish Embassy in Singapore
Phone: +65 9088 5567