Four EU nations to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050
EU members Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium on Wednesday said they wanted to increase their North Sea wind power capacity tenfold by 2050 to help the bloc achieve its climate goals and avoid Russian hydrocarbons.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the plan would mean the four countries would “deliver more than half of all offshore wind needed to reach climate neutrality in the European Union”.
The increase would make the North Sea “the green power plant of Europe”, she told a news conference in the port of Esbjerg in western Denmark.
“Setting a vision is not enough, we will make it happen,” Frederiksen added, flanked by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, Dutch premier Mark Rutte and Belgian leader Alexander De Croo.
The countries’ goal is to raise wind power capacity fourfold to 65 gigawatts by 2030 and then tenfold to almost 150 gigawatts by 2050.
They said 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power would supply 230 million homes with electricity.
Such a capacity would amount to 15,000-20,000 wind turbines, based on the most powerful ones currently on the market.
The announcement comes as the European Commission presented a plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy worth 210 billion euros ($220 billion) to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas as quickly as possible.
The European Union has already said it will end imports of Russian coal by August.
An embargo on Russian oil as part of a sixth sanctions package against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine is proving more contentious after Hungary raised objections.
The commission has said it wants to reduce purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and completely before 2030.
On Wednesday it proposed to increase the proportion of renewable energies in the bloc’s energy mix from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.
The 27-nation EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.