The Centre on Regulation in Europe recently released a comprehensive report outlining how EU regulatory action can support the rapid scaling up of offshore wind energy in Europe.
The offshore wind sector, despite its increasing popularity, faces challenges that resemble a ‘perfect storm’. The blend of high demand, restricted supply, and inflationary pressures has led to surging costs in the industry. This follows a period of significant decline in offshore wind energy costs.
The European Commission’s REpowerEU Plan, introduced in the wake of the energy market disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, champions a shift from fossil fuels sourced from Russia. The objective: fortify the EU’s energy sustainability through renewables. Offshore wind energy is a pillar of this strategy.
Intervention needed to secure rapid progress
The report underscores the pressing need for EU intervention to bolster offshore wind energy. The risk of failing to act promptly? Falling short of climate commitments, energy independence, and industrial visions. Key areas outlined for strategic EU focus include:
- Integrated Planning: Align offshore wind developments with the broader Blue Economy and the National Energy and Climate Plans.
- Efficient Permitting: Overhaul and hasten the permitting processes at the Member State level.
- Promotion of Cross-border Initiatives: Encourage expansive cross-border projects, enhancing cooperation between EU Member States and their coastal neighbours.
- Balancing Mutual & Local Interests: Harmonise diverse offshore activities, from energy and tourism to biodiversity conservation, ensuring widespread benefits.
The report was co-authored by NorthWind’s own Catherine Banet (UiO – Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law). You can download it from the Cerre website: Scaling up offshore wind energy in Europe.