Four countries want to turn the North Sea into the EU’s “green power plant”.

Berlin Together with Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, the federal government wants to significantly boost the expansion of offshore wind energy and work more closely together. The four North Sea states want to quadruple their offshore capacity by 2030 and jointly create at least 65 gigawatts, as the heads of government agreed on Wednesday in the town of Esbjerg on the Danish coast. By 2050, the capacity is to be increased tenfold to 150 gigawatts compared to today.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said in Esbjerg that the North Sea is the place where offshore wind farms can already be used to produce electricity on a large scale and in an economical manner. “So that’s not a story from the future, it’s a report from the present.” You have to finally get started and invest billions in the expansion of wind farms on the continental shelf of the North Sea. “Now is the time to leave, and now we are leaving.”

Against the backdrop of spinning wind turbines and huge turbine parts, the Chancellor signed the corresponding declaration with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo. This also provides for cooperation in the future production of green hydrogen from offshore wind energy, the production of which does not produce any greenhouse gas CO2.

Output is to increase to 30 gigawatts

“This is not just an explanation, but the toolbox for what we have to do and will do in the near future,” said Scholz, who had traveled to Denmark with Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens). Habeck stressed that it was the first time that real common European power plants would be built.

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This is also a sign of peace and greater independence from warmongers like Russia. In view of the war, the summit would come too late, said the economy minister. But it’s always good to start.

>> Also read here: Red figures despite booming demand – wind power companies are in crisis

According to Habeck’s national Easter package, the German capacity of offshore wind farms is to increase from 7.8 gigawatts to at least 30 gigawatts by 2030. By then, 80 percent of the electricity in Germany should come from renewable sources.

The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had invited her counterparts to the port of Ebsbjerg, which used to be a hub of the oil and gas industry and where manufacturers such as Vestas now manufacture turbines and rotor blades and ship them all over the world. “The green transition is happening. But it hasn’t happened fast enough so far,” said the Social Democrat.

Production of green hydrogen is to be expanded

The North Sea should become the “green power plant of Europe”. With the targets set, more than half of the offshore energy needed for the EU to become climate neutral could be produced there, Frederiksen said.

EU Commission President von der Leyen, who had also traveled to Denmark, welcomed the cooperation between the EU states and promised the wind industry significantly faster approval procedures. “The more we depend on each other in Europe, the less dependent we are on Russia,” von der Leyen said in Ebsbjerg.

On the same day, the EU announced 300 billion euros, which should make the confederation of states more quickly independent of Russian energy. The Commission also proposed increasing the target for the share of renewable energy in the EU from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.

In a second declaration, the energy ministers of the four countries also agreed that they would also like to significantly expand the production of so-called green hydrogen from renewable energies by 2030. Economics Minister Robert Habeck spoke of a milestone in cross-border cooperation.

More: Habeck: Have to distribute wind turbines fairly nationwide

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