ENTSO-E welcomes the European Commission Strategy on offshore renewable energy. The proposed ambitious target to install about 300 GW of offshore wind power and around 40 GW of ocean energy by 2050 is in line with the TYNDP 2020 scenarios and is an important contribution to delivering the EU Green Deal objectives.
Harnessing Europe’s vast offshore energy potential is one of the elements that can contribute to the post-Covid economic recovery. It will consolidate Europe’s industrial and technological leadership in offshore renewable energy and, in particular, green infrastructure technologies. While ENTSO-E still needs to further assess the Strategy, it welcomes the following elements which are essentially in line with the position papers it has released on offshore development as well as on market and regulatory issues.
ENTSO-E appreciates the EU’s ambition to develop a framework enabling TSOs to undertake anticipatory investments, as these are decisive to prepare for future upscaling and to enable efficient solutions with the least environmental impact, as lead times for offshore RES and offshore infrastructure differ.
Expecting an increasing number of so-called ‘hybrid projects’ that have a dual purpose of connecting wind and markets, ENTSO-E agrees that the Offshore Bidding Zone concept appears to provide a more efficient solution for these projects with respect to the dimensions market and system operation. Based on ENTSO-E’s current insights and pending further investigation, this concept seems to better reflect physical congestions and physical flows than the other investigated solutions.
In case of offshore bidding zones solutions, the need for transitional arrangements and/or targeted support schemes for hybrid and multi-terminal configurations needs to be further investigated. While stronger financial support to wind farms may be needed to ensure the expansion of offshore wind in line with RES targets, the choice of the appropriate instrument should carefully weigh the incentives for developers together with consistency with the rules of the Clean Energy Package. Non-discrimination and fairness towards all grid users and network operators across Europe must be ensured.
ENTSO-E also fully supports the Commission’s proposal to enhance research, demonstration & innovation related to offshore projects, work on common standards for the connection of offshore HVDC networks and progress on interoperability issues.
Regarding offshore planning cooperation at the regional level, it will have to continue being carefully evaluated, in the interest of the community in all its dimensions (technological choices, economic, spatial and environmental optimization, safe and efficient operation, etc.) and in connection with all the parties concerned. ENTSO-E is ready to support this evaluation.
ENTSO-E and its members are committed to work closely with decision-makers and stakeholders at the EU, national and local levels. Being in charge of the backbone of Europe’s power system, ENTSO-E and its members are dedicated to facilitating the development of offshore renewable energy as well as other important initiatives and stand ready to continue sharing their expertise to meet the targets of Europe’s Green Deal.