The European Commission has presented the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy to increase the capacity of Europe’s offshore wind industry to 300GW in the next 30 years

To help meet the European Union’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050, it is necessary to launch ambitious plans that help to boost the use of renewable energy sources in Europe. With this purpose, the European Commission has presented the 19th of November the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy. The main ambition of this strategy is to increase Europe’s offshore wind capacity from its current level of 12GW to at least 60 GW by 2030 and to 300 GW by 2050.

This ambitious growth planned for the next 30 years will be based on the vast potential across all of Europe’s sea basins and on the global leadership position of EU companies in the sector. According to the European Commission, it will create new opportunities for industry, generate green jobs across the continent, and strengthen the EU’s global leadership in offshore energy technologies. In addition, it will also ensure the protection of our environment, biodiversity and fisheries.

In order to promote this scale-up of offshore energy capacity, the Commission plans to encourage cross-border cooperation between member states on long term planning and deployment. The Commission explains that this will require integrating offshore renewable energy development objectives in the National Maritime Spatial Plans, which coastal states are due to submit to the Commission by March 2021. The Commission will also propose a framework under the revised TEN-E Regulation for long-term offshore grid planning, involving regulators and the Member States in each sea basin.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, which is fully available here, sets the highest deployment ambition for offshore wind turbines (both fixed-bottom and floating), where commercial activity is well advanced. In these sectors, Europe has already gained unrivalled technological, scientific and industrial experience and strong capacity already exists across the supply chain, from manufacturing to installation.

An example of this knowledge is ROMEO Project, an initiative backed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme that is testing is technological advances for the improvement of the offshore wind industry. The project’s consortium is formed by several European partners: Iberdrola, Siemens Gamesa, RAMBOLL, IBM Research – Zurich, INDRA, BACHMANN Monitoring, LAULAGUN Bearings, UPTIME Engineering, University of Strathclyde and ZABALA Innovation Consulting.