The European Commission wants to increase the EU’s offshore wind energy production capacity from the current 12 GW (GigaWatts) to at least 300 GW by 2050, it said on Thursday.
The Commission presented its strategy for the future development of offshore renewable energy production, which Frans Timmermans, commissioner in charge of the Green Deal, has already called a “European success story.”
“Over the next years, we will aim to turn it into an even greater opportunity for clean energy, high quality jobs, international competitiveness, and sustainable growth,” Timmermans tweeted.
“This change in the pace of development raises many questions,” Timmermans admitted, though the commission estimates that the nearly 30-fold increase in Europe’s offshore wind power capacity will require “less than 3% of the EU’s maritime space.”
The wind energy would be added to 40 GW from other forms of ocean production, such as tidal power and floating solar power.
Encouraging a massive development of offshore energy production will require a revision of the guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy.
Investment needs (mainly private) are estimated at around €800 billion from today to 2050. Two-thirds of that sum would be for related network infrastructure.
The Commission plans to possibly clarify and adapt the current regulatory framework of the electricity market to facilitate projects involving several States.
“Europe is a world leader in offshore renewable energy and can become a powerhouse for its global development,” said Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson. “We must step up our game by harnessing all the potential of offshore wind,” she added.