TenneT CEO Manon van Beek spoke at the North Sea Wind Summit in Esbjerg, Denmark, where Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the “REPowerEU package” to the heads of state of the four North Sea countries. Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, world leaders in offshore energy, met to determine the way forward.

“In order to achieve the new, very ambitious climate targets, we need even more cross-border cooperation on the European energy markets. We must seize today’s opportunity to strengthen our cooperation as partners with a common goal. Together we can make the North Sea the wind power plant for Europe’s affordable, safe and green energy future. In order to be successful, we need to take an international approach to the energy transition and work together with all North Sea countries,” said Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT.

Renewable energies, especially offshore wind energy, are showing their value in this difficult time and improving affordable electricity supply to European homes. The current crisis has shown how important it is for energy security and market stability to accelerate the expansion of offshore wind energy in the North Sea. With the “REPowerEU package” presented by Ms von der Leyen, important steps are being taken to shorten and simplify the approval procedures for the use of renewable energies. The same acceleration rules should apply to grid infrastructure projects and renewable energy projects.

To achieve this acceleration, the key elements of the policy framework must work seamlessly: incentives for renewable energy generation, market design, security of supply, infrastructure deployment and the hydrogen strategy. For all this, we need a common strategy. All parts of the system influence each other.

“This conference, chaired by heads of state, shows that the development of the North Sea is a ‘top priority’ and it is about showing trust: trust in broad cooperation, trust to break down stereotypes and limitations – be they geographical differences or different energy sources. Trust to develop prosperity and resilience as Europe’s economic engine,” said Manon van Beek.

In her speech to the heads of government in Esbjerg, Manon van Beek stressed: “Europe can retain its leading role in offshore technology – one of the cheapest sources of electricity – if we ensure three things now:”

1. Establish a reliable growth path

National governments and the EU have the power to counteract the current energy crisis by creating a reliable growth path using offshore wind power in the most efficient place in Europe. This requires three offshore commitments: cross-border coordination of sites for new wind farms, timetables for expansion and reliable bidding systems so that everyone can invest on time.

2. Accelerating cross-border cooperation

The future is a networked offshore system that also enables the exchange of electricity between countries and the security of supply for everyone. Such cross-border projects must be a compelling investment case for everyone, including offshore wind farms. Anything is technically possible, but we also need the right incentives at EU and national levels.

3. Ensuring technical interoperability

High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology is so new that components from different vendors don’t work together properly. Today it is not possible to connect converter stations from different manufacturers. Together with other companies in the industry, TenneT has developed a manufacturer-neutral standard for the next generation of HVDC technology. TenneT has urgently asked the EU Commission to support this with a short-term approval.

Source: https://www.tennet.eu/
Image source: Courtesy of TenneT

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