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‘Brussels Declaration’ Calls for More Offshore Wind Energy

The oceans provides a theoretically limitless resource for renewable energy - that needs to be harvested

Image: WindEuropeImage: WindEurope

71% of the planet’s surface is covered by ocean – providing a theoretically limitless resource for renewable energy. Offshore wind already employs over 50,000 people in Europe, and there are over 100 offshore wind farms in Europe. Offshore wind is now cheaper than nuclear energy and competitive with gas.

On a recent event in Belgium, EU Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete stressed the need to rapidly expand ocean-based renewable energy. This means getting the right frameworks and targets in place. Currently, EU Governments are working on their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) for 2030. In these plans, Member States must outline their climate and energy goals, policies and measures from 2021 to 2030. These NECPs need to be finalised by the end of 2019. They will define the market in which the entire European wind industry works for the next decade.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “Offshore wind only works if there’s happy coexistence with fishing, shipping, military interests and biodiversity interests.” Dickson joined other signatories of the ‘Brussels Declaration’ expressing “deep concern” over the findings in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C “unequivocally confirming the negative impacts of climate change, including on the ocean,” as well as the findings that current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are not sufficient to meet long-term temperature goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The declaration recommends the development of cost-effective renewable ocean energy that coexists peacefully with the marine environment and local communities. With the IEA already forecasting wind as Europe’s leading power source by 2027, and costs of offshore wind falling dramatically in recent years, there has never been a better time for EU policymakers to commit to the expansion of offshore wind.

Press Office
WindEurope, Brussels Declaration, offshore, wind energy, ocean, NEPC, climate change, renewable energy, Giles Dickson

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