The North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) countries, comprising Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the European Commission, have announced a collaborative initiative to streamline offshore wind tenders. With approximately 15GW of offshore wind auctions scheduled each year and a target of almost 100GW of awards by 2030, the joint tender planning scheme aims to enhance predictability in the wind energy sector and foster better cooperation.
The announcement was made during the NSEC's annual meeting, which also included the United Kingdom as a guest participant. Over the past year, the Netherlands chaired the NSEC in collaboration with the European Commission.
The initiative, supported by the NSEC, seeks to improve coordination in crucial areas such as cables, pipelines, port infrastructure, and access to raw materials. By doing so, it aims to assist the European wind energy sector in medium- and long-term financial planning. The countries involved also plan to enhance coordination in infrastructure planning at sea.
In a significant step towards a European integrated energy system by 2050, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) is set to publish a joint plan for North Sea infrastructure in January 2024. This plan will take into account the need for a fair balance with other sectors and users in the North Sea, including the fishing and transport industries.
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simon commended the shared determination and commitment demonstrated during the discussions, emphasizing the vital role of offshore renewable energy in Europe's future energy mix. Netherlands Minister for Climate and Energy, Rob Jetten, stressed the importance of putting ambitious plans into action, emphasizing close cooperation as the key to successfully achieving energy ambitions in a responsible manner while minimizing ecological impact. The joint initiative marks the beginning of coordinated actions to propel the offshore wind sector into its next phase.