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Eight countries(1) located around the Baltic Sea signed today, together with the European Commission, the Baltic Sea Offshore Wind Joint Declaration of Intent. This looks into intensifying the cooperation in offshore wind development as “cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable deployment of offshore wind, through voluntary cooperation will be crucial to ensure a clean, secure and affordable energy supply” for the involved countries.

The joint declaration underlines that “in the Baltic Sea alone, the potential for offshore wind power will be substantial, reaching up to 93 GW. This potential can be achieved, most efficiently, through a cooperative, regional approach”.

“With a clear framework and careful planning based on regional cooperation, a substantial increase of offshore wind can be achieved, while preserving our oceans and respecting the marine ecosystem. Climate, energy and biodiversity policies should reinforce each other,” declared the director of Climate Action Network Europe, Wendel Trio.

In the coming decade, EU Member States need to significantly increase the deployment of renewable energy to ensure that we reach net zero emissions by 2040. The current 2030 EU renewables target of at least 32% is not enough, as already in this decade renewable electricity generation should triple. This should lead to renewables covering 50% of gross final energy consumption in 2030 and 100% in 2040.

“Offshore wind plays a key part in reaching the Paris Agreement target to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. The increased effort towards a coordinated approach to comprehensive planning and implementation of future energy infrastructure at regional level is positive. However, these regional groups should become more transparent and allow for public engagement,” added Wendel Trio.

The countries tasked the BEMIP High-level Group to adopt, in the spring of 2021, a work programme for offshore wind development, which will indicate how serious the involved states are in moving from intention to action.

This meeting, like a similar one of the North Seas countries that took place in July, feeds into important discussions on offshore renewable energy development that are taking place under the German Presidency of the EU Council. The European Commission is expected to publish an Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy on 18 November that aims to support an ambitious deployment and integration of offshore wind and ocean renewable energies across the EU.

BALTIC SEA OFFSHORE WIND JOINT DECLARATION OF INTENT

(1) Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden. The primary objective of the Baltic energy market interconnection plan (BEMIP) initiative is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region, ending energy isolation. The initiative's members are the European Commission, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden. Norway participates as an observer. https://ec.europa.eu/energy/topics/infrastructure/high-level-groups/baltic-energy-market-interconnection-plan_en

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