The European Commission (EC) has unveiled its EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy, which proposes to increase Europe’s offshore wind capacity to 300GW by 2050.
By 2030, the EC intends to enhance Europe’s offshore wind capacity from the existing level of 12GW to nearly 60GW, as part of its strategy.
The EC aims to achieve this target with 40GW of ocean energy and other emerging technologies, including floating wind and solar, by 2050.
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said: “Europe is a world leader in offshore renewable energy and can become a powerhouse for its global development. We must step up our game by harnessing all the potential of offshore wind and by advancing other technologies such as wave, tidal and floating solar.
“This Strategy sets a clear direction and establishes a stable framework, which is crucial for public authorities, investors and developers in this sector.
“We need to boost the EU’s domestic production to achieve our climate targets, feed the growing electricity demand and support the economy in its post-Covid recovery.”
The EC will encourage cross-border cooperation between member states to create long-term planning and deployment to increase offshore energy capacity.
It has set the new target based on the vast potential of Europe’s sea basins, as well as the leadership maintained by the European companies in the sector.
The EC also plans to propose a framework under the revised TEN-E Regulation for long-term offshore grid planning, which will see the involvement of regulators and the member states in each sea basin.
EC estimates that an investment of approximately €800bn ($949bn) will be required to meet its proposed objectives.
In order to generate the funding, it will provide a clear and supportive legal framework, mobilise all relevant funds and ensure a strengthened supply chain.
The EC anticipates that its strategy will create new opportunities for industry, generate green jobs across the continent, and strengthen the EU’s global leadership in offshore energy technologies.
A new guidance document on wind energy development and EU nature legislation has also been adopted by the EC.