North Sea countries mull wind energy strategy

Jun 06, 2016 12:00 AM

Nine countries that border the North Sea agreed Monday to build strong connections in order to facilitate offshore wind development, leaders said.

"Close regional cooperation and pooling together of energy sources will be essential to unlock the full potential of the North Sea resources at the lowest cost," Maros Sefcovic, a European commissioner in charge of energy issues, said Monday from Luxembourg

Eurostat, the European statistics office, said data from 2014, the last full year for which it published information, show the share of energy from renewable resources was 16 percent, about 89 percent above 2004 levels, the first year it started keeping records on renewables.

European member states are obligated to use renewable energy to meet 20 percent of their energy needs by the end of the decade. The IEA said the majority of the new wind-generated electricity occurred in European members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development

Nine countries that share a border with the North Sea -- Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – agreed Monday to improve infrastructure to support offshore wind.

In a recent report, the European Commission found better connectivity and coordination in the regional offshore wind market could lead to up to $5.8 billion in savings. Beyond a few percentage points worth of total electricity, the IEA said last week integrating more wind into the grid creates market complexities for power systems, which may hinge in part on the flexibility to adapt to wide swings in the balance between supply and demand.

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