A High Level Group and Stakeholders’ Platform to accelerate North Sea cooperation
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and Friends of the Supergrid (FOSG) call for an increased regional cooperation in the North Sea in view of the upcoming high level meeting on energy organised by the Netherlands EU Presidency on February 4th, 2016.
Regional cooperation is a key tool available to Member States to speed up Europe’s transition to a more sustainable energy supply and to promote economic development. Under the Netherlands EU Council Presidency, Member States and European Institutions have the unique opportunity to set up a framework for regional cooperation taking into account the immense energy potential of the North Seas.
To do this, political support needs to be secured now. Therefore FOSG and EWEA call for the creation of a High Level Group, gathering energy ministers and representatives from the EU institutions as communicated in the manifesto “Northern Seas as the power house of North-Western Europe” by 20 Members of the European Parliament. The main objective of this High Level Group, shall be to create a vision and a roadmap for the development, coordination and collaboration in energy infrastructure in the North Seas with the corresponding finance mechanisms that will expedite the interconnection between countries and between offshore wind farms and the mainland.
Additionally, raising broad support for regional cooperation in the North Sea among the industry, civil society and other relevant stakeholders is crucial to ensure public acceptance and technical know-how. FOSG and EWEA also call for the establishment of a North Sea Stakeholders’ Platform which should tackle technical and regulatory barriers needed to support a continuous pipeline of offshore wind and grid projects and the establishment of a European offshore wind technologies testing and verification centre.