Energy ministers of Europe’s North Seas in the Danish port town of Esbjerg agreed to extend their political declaration beyond 2019, which had first been signed in 2016, as they called for higher national ambition and international cooperation, especially in the North Sea.

“Offshore wind is key to deliver Europe’s ambition on decarbonisation. A net-zero emissions economy by 2050 will rely on renewable energy. This will mean a total of 240-450GW of offshore wind, according to the European Commission,” WindEurope said in a statement on the meeting.

Reaching 450GW of offshore wind in Europe in 2050 (up from 18.5GW in 2018) would mean a steep increase in annual installations to 13.5GW per year on average from this year on. The net offshore wind capacity addition last year was 2.6GW.

WindEurope said governments need to collaborate even more with each other on offshore wind, and should strengthen the cooperation with the wind industry and other sea users.

The collaboration should be strategic, the lobby group recommended.

The volume targets and the policies to achieve them should be spelt out in the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) for 2030.

The political declaration of North Seas countries should also shift its focus from cost reduction – already achieved by the industry ahead of time – to a more action-based approach, focusing on site development, development and optimisation of grids, developing the onshore grid and technical standards, WindEurope said.

In their Political Declaration of North Seas Countries Energy Cooperation signed in 2016, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, France, Denmark, Ireland and Belgium had signed an agreement aiming to reduce the costs and accelerate the deployment of wind power at sea.