Germany and neighbours agree tenfold increase of North Sea wind power
Clean Energy Wire
Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark have agreed to expand offshore wind power generation capacity in the North Sea tenfold to at least 150 gigawatts (GW) by 2050. The countries are also set to jointly develop green hydrogen production using that capacity. Speaking at the North Sea Wind Summit in Denmark’s coastal town of Esbjerg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said stopping man-made climate change would only work if the countries succeeded in converting industry to run mainly on electricity and hydrogen. “For Germany alone, which is a strong industrial country, this means that we will then not only produce the electricity we need today - 600 terawatt hours - in a short time with renewable energy sources, especially with wind power on the high seas, wind power on land and solar energy, it means we need a lot more of it: 800 terawatt hours by the end of this decade, and then probably double that amount by the end of the next decade.”
German economics minister Robert Habeck described the agreement as “an important milestone in cross-border cooperation” and “the basis for the first real European power plants that also generate electricity from renewable energy sources”. Expanding wind energy generation in the North Sea will further reduce Europe’s dependence on gas imports, Habeck added. Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), said international cooperation in the expansion of offshore wind power would more closely link the industry and its European players. “In addition to the production of green electricity and green hydrogen as part of sectoral integration, wind energy can also contribute to the generation of heat from renewable energy sources and to the sustainable transformation of mobility.”
The renewed focus on wind power is a major boost for Europe’s wind sector after a recent decline that saw offshore capacity expansion slow to a standstill last year.