The first few exploratory conversations with the offshore wind industry have taken place. Possible business models have been discussed, as well as the necessary steps for moving along with the internationally coordinated roll-out of the North Sea Wind Power Hub vision. The industry says a change of mindset is necessary, “as well as a change in rules and legislation”, says Alexander Vink, lead for the workstream Commercial in the consortium. He gives us his first insights in the most relevant topics: “We’ve only just started.”

The industry – leading and influential offshore wind farm developers – are interested in the North Sea Wind Power Hub and its potential, says Alexander Vink. “They are keen to further explore the possibilities of the NSWPH as a business model for a subsidy free future. It is clear to them that an internationally coordinated roll-out is the only way to reach climate goals. We have had about seven exploratory conversations with offshore wind farm developers to discuss priorities, shared views and necessary changes in order to move forward with the internationally coordinated roll-out. Also, we have explored viable business models: Would there be one unified market zone or would each partner be responsible for their own pricing of energy?”

Together with KPMG, the NSWPH consortium is preparing an Industry Engagement Paper which Vink is seeking to present in June 2019 at the North Seas Energy Days in Esbjerg, Denmark. “What the industry needs right now, in order to proceed with the internationally coordinated roll-out, is a clear and realistic scenario for development, also in a subsidy free future. That’s the only way the industry will truly enter and participate in the NSWPH. Key issues need to be addressed by politicians. Can a project comply with existing national and EU regulations or do we need changes in legislation? Some important barriers have to be lifted in order to make investing an attractive option. It is important for the industry to join in this development and to level the playing field. That’s why it’s crucial for me that the result of our engagement with the industry delivers a plan we can all support. And we’re not there yet.”

Vink is very clear about the urgency of this matter. “If you look at the required installation pace of offshore wind in order to reach the Paris Agreement requirements, as shown in this graph, it is obvious that we have to act now. We have to work on legislation that supports this international collaboration and an efficient process of approving permits. This new mindset towards international collaboration requires a lot of preparation. We have to start now. If we can’t make this collaboration work, we will reach a suboptimal solution and it will cost society a lot more.” The consortium does not dictate, he stresses. “We want to identify and remove obstacles together in an open way. Please share your ideas on the North Sea Wind Power Hub with us. Let’s make this work for Northwestern Europe!” Mail to: