June, 2019 – Today at the Esbjerg event where European policy makers gather from North Sea countries to discuss the future North Sea infrastructure in which the deployment of wind energy has a pivotal role, Michiel Müller, programme manager of the North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH), presented the insights of a consultation held with the wind industry.
In the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium TenneT Netherlands, TenneT Germany, Energinet, Gasunie and Port of Rotterdam joined forces to facilitate connection and integration of large scale offshore wind into the European energy system. The NSWPH consortium engaged with leading offshore wind farm (OWF) developers to get feedback and input on a business model for a first-of-a-kind project – facilitating 10-15 GW of offshore wind capacity – combining grid connection of offshore wind power with interconnectors. The views of these developers are represented in the ‘Industry Engagement’ report.
– Efficient use of international transmission infrastructure is required to inte-grate large-scale offshore wind into energy system
– For this, cross-border collaboration is key between offshore wind farm de-velopers, policy makers, regulators and transmission system operators
– Invitation to Dutch, Danish and German governments and the European Commission to consider setting up consultation
Hub-and-Spoke concept: a network of hubs that connect far offshore wind farms to North Sea Countries’ energy markets.
Conclusions of discussions with offshore wind developers show the industry’s conviction that efficient utilisation of international, cross-border transmission infrastructure is required to successfully integrate large-scale offshore wind energy into the energy system. It is recommended by the industry that the further maturation of a future NSWPH project has to be based on close collaboration between OWF developers, TSOs, policy makers and regulators. Therefore the NSWPH consortium invites the Dutch, Danish and German governments and the European Commission to consider setting up a cross-governmental consultation to find solutions for the issues highlighted in this report in order to enable the offshore wind potential of the North Sea to contribute to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.
Combined spatial planning to achieve ambitions Paris Agreement
Given the current and planned use of space in the North Sea, a co-utilisation approach is necessary in the future to reach the required installed capacity of offshore wind. Commitments and cooperation across all stakeholders is required to enable further cross-border coordination in spatial planning of the North Sea. The approach must consider co-utilisation with other sectors such as nature, shipping and fisheries and take a long-term, international and multi-stakeholder perspective. This is supported by the industry and in line with the message from the Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries1.
OWF developers support further examination of feasibility of NSWPH and concept first project
OWF developers and investors conclude that there is common understanding of the challenges facing the industry. There’s an urgent need for increasing the installation pace to meet the Paris Agreement ambitions. The offshore wind industry recognises that various technical, operational and commercial aspects and alignment have to be further matured together. It is recommended by the industry that this will be done in close collaboration between OWF developers, TSOs, policy makers and regulators.
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP): “We support the ambition of the North Sea Wind Power Hub and find it critical to further investigate the technical, operational and commercial feasibility of the project. We believe the NSWPH could be an enabler to unlock a successful co-operation in the North Sea creating a long-term competitive advantage for the North Sea region.’’
Eneco: “We have a positive outlook on the hub and spoke concept of the North See Wind Power Hub as it enhances further market coupling and the integration of European markets.”
Engie: “We see interesting possibilities in the North Sea Wind Power Hub project and support the further examination of the project. We believe the further examination of the NSWPH project should include studies on the role of hydrogen as a potential means to prevent curtailment.”
Innogy: “The Hub-and-Spoke concept offering interconnector functionality will increase the integration of European energy markets. Our own initial studies show, that such a hub solution will provide societal benefits to consumers through lower energy prices.”
Equinor: “We welcome the initiative by the North Sea Wind Power Hub and support further dialogue on the technical solutions and commercial and regulatory conditions for an integrated offshore grid.”
Shell: “Shell supports long-term cross border infrastructure planning for large-scale offshore wind developments in the North Sea. We are ready to collaborate with governments and industry to ensure an enabling framework for offshore wind capacity growth to supply the renewable electricity demand that will be needed to deliver Europe’s energy transition”
SSE: “SSE Renewables supports the ambitions of the North Sea Wind Power Hub to catalyse offshore wind build out at the scale needed to meet the Paris targets. The Industry Report is an important first step in analysing the commercial and regulatory conditions needed to enable this low carbon infrastructure”
Vattenfall: “We would like to continue the dialogue about the possible design options for the North Sea Power Hub. The timing of implementation and co-operation across markets are key success factors in our view.”
1 European Energy Union and North Seas Countries, Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries, 2016. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2029_en.htm