“An ambitious Offshore Wind Implementation Plan for an ambitious Europe”

The development in offshore wind energy over the past few years has been truly breath taking. In 2018, turbine manufactures broke through the 10MW barrier for turbine size; in 2019, Hornsea 1 became the first GW wind farm; and in 2020, the first concrete plans for energy islands were announced. At the same time, offshore wind has gone from being predominantly a North Sea phenomenon to become part of the energy system planning for all European sea basins from Norway in the north-west all the way around to the waters of the Black Sea in the south-east.

On the technology side, the prospect of floating wind power as a commercially viable technology within a 5-10 year horizon has opened up vast areas of the ocean for wind power in Europe and globally. Meanwhile, policies for national and international coordination is starting to shape the future energy systems capable of incorporating up to 450GW of offshore wind in European waters by 2050.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy presented by the European Commission on November 19, outlines the paths to achieve 300GW in EU-27 waters by 2050. The Commission strategy highlights that investments and a predictable legal framework are essential to enable EU to multiply currently installed offshore wind power capacity by almost 30 times by 2050. Supported by regional cooperation for enhanced maritime spatial planning and continued efforts to maintain Europe’s technological leadership through research and innovation, this will help drive down costs, increase the value and further improve the sustainability of offshore wind power.

With these developments, it was clear early on for the SETPlan Implementation Working Group for Offshore Wind (IWG Offshore Wind) that the first Implementation Plan delivered in June 2018 needed an update.

This summary outlines the main elements of the 2nd SETPlan Implementation Plan for Offshore Wind, which is due in the first quarter of 2021.

The document is prepared by the SETWind project and reflects the work in progress of the IWG Offshore Wind in preparing the updated Implementation Plan.

Download here the document.