Monday

24th Jul 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 and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

Opinion

Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive

Candidates from all political families should be presenting their vision on where the Union should be headed. European socialists want to keep the Spitzenkandidat procedure for future elections.

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Huge amounts of money from criminal activities are funnelled into the legitimate European economy. But little is being done about it at EU or national level.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary