Currently, 1.2 GW of offshore wind power is being installed annually. Member States aim to achieve 111 GW of offshore renewables by 2030, nearly twice the European Commission’s initial goal, signifying the need for an accelerated shift towards renewable energy.
To reach the target, Europe must deploy at least 12 GW per year going forward. EU´s goal is to install 300 GW of renewable offshore energy by 2050.
The Action Plan outlines 15 actions aimed at strengthening Europe’s wind energy industry. Key areas of focus include auction design, where pre-qualification criteria for wind energy projects are proposed, covering data security, enhanced non-price award criteria, environmental protection, and delivery capabilities. The plan will also address negative bidding, bid ceilings, and their consequences in auction processes. Member States are encouraged to index auction prices and tariffs properly to address cost discrepancies.
-There is no doubt that offshore wind is a key in achieving the ambiguous energy targets set by the EU, and this plan underscores the importance of speedy processes, says Farstad.
Increase in available funds
The plan also outlines measures to finance investments in clean tech manufacturing, with an increase in available funds under the EU Innovation Fund to €1.4 billion. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide de-risking tools and counter-guarantees for private banks lending to the wind industry, and the EIB’s lending policy will cover manufacturing in addition to wind farm financing.
Increased visibility of the wind projects pipeline and deployment, monitoring possible unfair trade practices, and permitting acceleration are key components of the plan, with the Commission launching a digital permitting tool by the end of 2023.
Alongside the Action Plan, the European Commission launched a Communication on Delivering on the EU offshore renewable energy ambitions, which underscores the important role offshore renewables will play in achieving the EU’s energy and climate targets for 2030 and 2050.
The Communication takes stock of the progress achieved thus far and addresses the primary challenges ahead, offering a path forward. This involves establishing cross-border offshore grids with cost-effective analysis, expediting permitting, improving maritime spatial planning for cooperation with other sea industries, enhancing infrastructure resilience and maritime security, supporting research and innovation to maintain EU technology leadership, and helping EU supply chains become competitive while achieving higher offshore capacity ambitions through dedicated trade dialogues with industry participation.