NSWPH: Programme progress

NSWPH: Programme progress

Jasper Vis, workstream lead Project Scoping: “All North Sea countries have offshore wind energy high on their agenda, because it is the means to achieve the ambitious climate goals. The consortium is glad to see that plans for offshore wind power are getting more and more specific.” An overview of the national developments in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Danish Parliament has agreed on a climate agreement for the industry and the energy sector, specifying how they will contribute to the Danish greenhouse gas reduction of 70% by 2030. Denmark will build ‘energy islands’ as they call it. One in the Baltic Sea (with the island Bornholm as a hub) and one in the North Sea. The new energy island in the North Sea should have a capacity of 3 GW before 2030, with wind farms directly connected to the hub. The capacity could grow towards 10 GW on the longer term. This is a Danish agreement, but the ambition is to collaborate with neighbouring countries. Denmark has published a fine screening of locations for the energy islands.

The German law for offshore wind energy will be modified. The new goal is to have 20 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2030. German stakeholders have reached agreement on how to make this happen and how to connect the wind parks. This includes the same kind of electrical connections as we plan to use for the North Sea Wind Power Hub, so we follow this development to learn from it. Germany will also set the ambition to realise 40 GW in 2040. Germany is working on their next grid development plan (NEP). It describes future developments of the German electricity network towards 2035 in three scenarios. The North Sea Wind Power Hub will be analysed as an option in a sensitivity analysis. Also, Germany has published their national hydrogen strategy. In 2030, Germany wants to have 5 Gigawatts of electrolysis capacity for the production of ‘green’ hydrogen.

The Netherlands
The Netherlands have also published their national hydrogen strategy. This has a similar approach as the German and European hydrogen strategies. The Netherlands is also working on the spatial planning for the North Sea for the longer term future in a new ‘North Sea Programme’. It has been agreed to designate new areas for 20-40 GW additional offshore wind capacity. Since the part of the North Sea to the West of the Dutch coast is being used quite intensively already, the new wind areas to be developed after 2030 will located North of the Netherlands. Suitable areas are being explored, including the option to connect to neighboring countries. At the beginning of 2021, the draft version of this plan will be published.

In May, the consortium has applied for subsidy from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), for their work in the coming 3 years. This EU subsidy stimulates focused investments that support the development of adequate trans-European transport networks. At the end of this year, we will hear back.