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No. 053/07 | Berlin, 23.02.2007

Europe is moving offshore: member states discuss electricity generation from offshore wind energy

Participants in an EU Workshop in Berlin voiced their support for better framework conditions for offshore wind energy deployment in Europe and joint projects by the Member States. Michael Müller, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Environment Ministry said "Our offshore wind power technology is still in its infancy. This workshop has shown the important role of joint projects between the Member States in promoting an economically and ecologically sound development." At the invitation of the Federal Environment Ministry, around 100 representatives of European governments, the EU Commission, the wind power industry and the scientific community from 12 EU Member States took part in the workshop, which ended today.

Europe has an immense energy source at sea which, according to data from the sector, could cover around 13 percent of European electricity consumption in 2030 in an environmentally sound way. The European Commission and many Member States believe that in future offshore wind turbines will supply electricity for millions of households. "By 2020," said Müller, "around 50,000 MW of wind power capacity could be installed off the European coasts. This is roughly the same capacity as 25 nuclear power plants."

This process is supported by the EU. In its energy package presented at the beginning of January, the Commission already acknowledged the particular value of offshore wind power for climate protection and the security of energy supply. Altogether, the renewables' share should total 20 percent by 2020. The results of the workshop will be incorporated into the discussions of the EU Energy Council on 8 June 2007. A key demand is that the Commission picks up on the outcome, examines the remaining open questions regarding offshore wind power in detail and develops a European action plan for offshore wind energy.

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