Energy Ministers from the 10 EU countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Work Programme in Luxembourg to enhance their cooperation on renewable energy, particularly offshore wind. The 10 signatories are: Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, France, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium and the UK. The agreement aims to reduce the costs and accelerate deployment of wind power at sea. It outlines a number of actions to help reduce costs in offshore wind, including cooperation on spatial planning, grids, finance, technical standards and regulation such as health and safety rules and also highlights the need to coordinate the timing of offshore wind tenders and explore options for joint support schemes.
The signing of the MoU comes on the same day as 11 leading energy companies sign a declaration saying offshore wind can reduce costs to 80 euros/MWh by 2025 with a strong pipeline of projects.
“The agreement signed in Luxembourg today is a major step forward to fully realise the potential of offshore wind in Europe” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope. “It's a good combination of top-down and bottom-up: top-down political commitment to take bottom-up practical action to reduce costs and facilitate the deployment of offshore wind. We congratulate the Ministers for the ambition they've shown and the Dutch Presidency for having made this happen. It's a clear statement of intent that gives confidence to the offshore wind industry and will help drive further investments.”
Mr Dickson added that the industry has reinforced the new commitments of the 10 Governments by making its own new commitment on cost reduction for offshore wind. Although costs can continue to come down quickly, the volumes must be right. The main challenge facing offshore wind today is the visibility of market size and regulation after 2020. Clear targets for deployment and tendering will unlock new investments, reduce the cost of capital and allow the industry to meet the cost reduction target.
WindEurope actively promotes wind power in Europe and worldwide and has over 500 members in over 50 countries, including wind turbine manufacturers with a leading share of the world wind power market, component suppliers, research institutes and consultants. It coordinates international policy, communications, research and analysis and provides various services to support member requirements, helping their development and offering networking and learning opportunities.
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