Offshore Grid Implementation Requires Coordinated Approach

An offshore North and Baltic Sea electricity grid could be in place within 10-15 years, but its development is being slowed by political and regulatory differences between countries bordering the North and Baltic Seas, according to a report published by the OffshoreGrid consortium.

The European Commission-funded consortium – made up of eight organizations – stated that offshore wind farm developers, operators and traders see a harmonization of electricity market and electricity transmission rules across Europe as essential for the future offshore grid. National and EU policy makers, being more cautious, would rather opt for making the existing support schemes compatible.

“The problem is that regulatory frameworks for interconnectors and offshore transmission are very different between Member States,” Achim Woyte, project coordinator for OffshoreGrid, said.

 

Legal uncertainty and the risk of stranded investments are also hindering the development of an offshore grid. In most of the countries the regulatory framework does not clarify what support an offshore wind farm could be eligible for, if the farm is connected to several different countries.

 

Two factors – the EU’s 2020 renewable energy 20% target and the urgent need for improving the security of Europe’s electricity supply – are driving the development of an offshore grid, the report notes.

 

OffshoreGrid published three other reports: A list of planned and possible wind farm locations with predictions for their installed capacity by 2020 and 2030; a report on potential wind power output at offshore sites over one year; and a report on other marine orientated grid development scenarios up to 2030.

 

To read the full reports, click here.

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