Germany pledges to build offshore wind farm with other EU states
Germany, along with Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark, has unveiled plans to generate 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power to help achieve EU climate goals and lessen their dependence on Russian energy.
EU countries sign wind energy deal
Last week, an offshore wind power summit in Denmark concluded with four EU countries, Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, pledging to generate at least 150 gigawatts of offshore wind energy in the North Sea by 2050. Chancellor Olaf Scholz himself travelled to Denmark to sign the declaration. "This is not just a declaration,” he said, “but the toolbox for what we have to do and will do in the coming period.”
The move will also help to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas imports. This sentiment was echoed by Germany’s Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister, Robert Habeck, who said that the move would help Europe expand its renewable energy capabilities, meaning that it could further reduce its reliance on gas imports. Habeck continued saying that the declaration was the “basis for the first truly European power plants."
Habeck told reporters that the project is a joint enterprise between the four EU countries. "The projects are to be developed jointly, financed jointly and the electricity distributed jointly," he said, asserting that the aim was "no longer for each country to do its own thing, but to approach this in a truly cooperative manner."
A multi-billion-dollar project
The project is set to increase the EU’s offshore wind power capacity by 10 times, up from the 16 gigawatts currently offered. The plan would generate enough electricity to power 230 million homes in Europe. However, according to Danish Business Minister Simon Kollerup, the plan is also to use the electricity to make hydrogen and other climate-friendly fuels for industries and transport that cannot easily be powered through electricity.
Denmark’s Climate and Energy Minister, Dan Jorgensen, has already said that the cost of such a project would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. This is mainly going to be financed by private investors, although small state subsidies are being made available.
Reducing reliance on Russian energy imports
Earlier that week, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled REPowerEU, an initiative aimed at ceasing the EU’s reliance on Russian energy imports. The initiative includes three approaches: importing more gas from countries other than Russia, the faster adoption of renewable energy and energy conservation.
The plan is slated to cost up to 300 billion euros, which includes around 72 billion in grants and 225 billion in loans. The money will be invested into the scheme, including up to 10 billion dollars for gas infrastructure and a further 2 billion dollars for oil infrastructure. The rest of the money will be invested in the transition to clean energy.