North Sea Wind Power Hub concept feasible

North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) Consortium presented today, 9 July, the results of an assessment into the possibility and conditions required to build one or several wind power hubs in the North Sea to facilitate the large scale roll-out and integration of far offshore wind. The results show that the proposed Hub-and-Spoke concept is technically and economically feasible.

NSWPH is a consortium of Energinet, Gasunie, Port of Rotterdam and TenneT Netherlands and Germany that supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and responds to current energy and climate agreements e.g. in the Netherlands and Denmark as well as to German fade out of nuclear power and coal exit. Large scale offshore wind will play a major part in meeting the climate goals on time and at the lowest possible environmental impact and cost.

In light of this, NSWPH has conducted a wide range of studies, investigated a number of different scenarios and conducted intense engagements with policy makers, leading offshore wind farm developers and non-governmental organisations. The vision is based on an internationally coordinated rollout of Hub-and-Spoke projects, combining wind power connection, coupling of energy markets through interconnection and smart integration in the onshore energy grid, including power to gas. The international integrated approach would be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than the individual approach currently used.

According to the consortium, the implementation of 70 to 150 gigawatts by the year 2040 and up to 180 gigawatts by 2045 can be achieved. A modular, gradual roll-out of 10 to 15 gigawatts hubs is the first step towards a large offshore wind build-out. The first Hub-and-Spoke project could likely to be built within the current regulatory framework and market design, i.e. under current EU and national legislation. It will likely be electrically connected to shore and with additional power-to-gas to provide energy system flexibility and could be operational in the 2030s.

NSWPH does warn that significant changes are required in national practices, approaches, planning and policies in order for the hub concept to become part of the long term energy transition. It invites the Danish, Dutch and German governments and the European Commission to set up consultation processes and international agreements, including an agreement on developing sustainable energy from offshore wind beyond 2030. Image: North Sea Wind Power Hub

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