Friday

24th Nov 2017

Giant offshore grid to link up north-western Europe

  • Offshore windmills in the North Sea will be connected to a giant underwater cable network (Photo: Tom Jensen/norden.org)

Nine north-western European countries are planning a giant underwater energy grid in the North Sea linked to wind farms, tidal power stations and hydroelectric plants.

Thousands of kilometers of high-tech energy cables are set to be laid on the seabed of the North Sea in the coming ten years, in what will become Europe's groundbreaking energy park, Germany's Sueddeutsche newspaper reports.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The cables would link existing and new windmills off the German and British coasts with Belgian and Danish tidal power stations and Norwegian hydroelectric plants. The €30-billion project would compensate for the irregular nature of renewable energy and provide a steady flow to the countries involved.

Germany, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg are behind the project. Their respective energy ministers last month signed a so-called North Seas' countries offshore initiative, just as the international climate change summit in Copenhagen was kicking off.

"We're already the world leader in offshore wind here in the UK and today's announcements bring new funding and expert direction to grow this vital new industry," Philip Hunt, the British sustainability minister, said in December.

Berlin sees itself as the driving motor behind the scheme. "For Germany, as a country with ambitious offshore-development plans, this initiative has great importance. It focuses on network connection and integration, which is crucial for wind energy to reach consumers and to make offshore energy generation a success," German minister for economy and technology Rainer Bruderle said on Wednesday (5 January) in a press release.

He added that the idea came about during a meeting of French, German and Benelux representatives on energy issues.

After initial meetings in Ireland last year, officials from the nine countries will meet in the February, and aim to sign a binding agreement by the end of 2010. The project is mainly going to be funded by energy firms, which will be drawn into the negotiations. It is expected to produce 100 gigawatts of power.

The EU hopes to generate a fifth of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, a move which requires new modern energy grids, capable of absorbing the fluctuations of wind and solar energy.

Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit

Snap elections are on the horizon in Ireland over the future of Irish PM's right-hand woman, three weeks before Irish PM is due in Brussels for a crucial Brexit vote.

Focus

EU calls for better disease prevention

EU health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis is encouraging states to spend more to prevent diseases that weigh much on health systems.

Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP

Reinhard Buetikofer, who participated in the failed coalition talks, puts the blame squarely on FDP being 'afraid to govern', but hopes "there will be a lot of phone calls" to German politicians on the consequences of the deadlock in Berlin.

Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit

Snap elections are on the horizon in Ireland over the future of Irish PM's right-hand woman, three weeks before Irish PM is due in Brussels for a crucial Brexit vote.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. Irish crisis may complicate Brexit summit
  2. UK to call out 'hostile' Russia at EU summit
  3. EU calls for better disease prevention
  4. Eastern Partnership must not be deterred by Russian aggression
  5. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  6. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  7. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  8. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks