A fresh report by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, outlines the colossal investments that will be required in European offshore energy infrastructure.
The report, titled European Offshore Network Transmission Infrastructure Needs, points out that offshore renewable energy sources are slated to provide 18% of the dispatched energy by 2040 if EU member states meet their goals. This is equivalent to the power needed by 55 million households.
This ambitious plan will require a significant ramp-up in installations. The current average annual installation rate of 2.5 GW needs to increase ninefold to meet the 2030 ambitions. The report also outlines the staggering infrastructural needs for this expansion. An estimated 48,000 to 54,000 km of offshore grid will be required – necessitating an investment of around 400 billion EUR. This infrastructure includes not just connections to onshore systems but also hybrid transmission corridors linking different national systems.
Report authors expect most offshore renewable energy sources to be connected via radial connections, with up to 9% connected to more than one jurisdiction. The report also indicates a significant role for hydrogen, especially in the North Sea, where it can help integrate offshore renewables.
You can download the report summary here: European Offshore Network Transmission Infrastructure Needs