Brussels, January 28,2009. Today the European Commission recognised offshore wind energy as a key technology in Europe’s attempt to stimulate the Union’s economies.
Today’s economic recovery plan, agreed by the European Council in December to deal with the continuing financial crisis, totalled €5bn. Of that, €3.5bn is for energy projects over the next two years, while the rest goes to bringing the internet to rural areas and supporting agricultural communities.
The €3.5bn dedicated for energy sees at least €1.75bn directed towards injecting the necessary resources into key strategic interconnections, covering both gas and electricity, and including the initiation of the first stage of a North Sea offshore grid. An additional €1.25bn goes to supporting five carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. The final €500mn is to help finance and develop the next generation of offshore wind farms.
The wind industry alone is expected to contribute towards delivering 12-14% of EU electrical demand within 12 years, with more than one-quarter of that coming from offshore wind. By 2030, the contribution of offshore wind alone is expected to reach close to 15% of total EU electrical production.