The UK government has signed a landmark agreement that will set a higher degree of cooperation for renewable energy between the EU and North Seas countries. The new North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) was signed by Graham Stuart, the Minister for Energy and Climate.
It will help to ensure collaboration for the essential development of renewable and offshore grid infrastructure so that the UK can meet its net zero targets, and help boost European energy security of supply.
The framework will also help to support Britain's challenging target to grow offshore wind energy by 500% to 50GW by the end of the decade. As a new Memorandum of Understanding, the framework will allow Britain to work with other members of the NSEC to develop vital clean energy projects in the North Seas, linking wind farms and electricity interconnections as a priority. One key deliverable will be to develop 18GW of new capacity for electricity interconnections by 2030, from the current level of 8.4GW.
The countries involved in the new agreement are Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway and other EC countries. As such, this framework represents a new phase in UK-EU joint cooperation and development.
Graham Stuart said that he was pleased to sign a new era of closer energy cooperation with the UK's North Sea neighbours, which would help Britain to meet its stretch targets for renewables investment. He explained the North Sea renewable projects would be vital to accelerate the progression towards a clean energy future, whilst bolstering energy security for everyone.
Currently, the UK transmits and receives subsea electricity through cables that link the country with Belgium, the Netherlands and France. Through the new cooperation agreement, more of these vast subsea cables can be laid to facilitate energy transfer between the countries.