By signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, 18 organisations from across Europe, comprising NGOs, wind industry and transmission system operators, committed themselves to cooperate on the sustainable deployment of offshore wind, while ensuring alignment with nature protection and healthy marine ecosystems.
Collaboration and long-term planning is needed for the EU to fulfil its climate and biodiversity objectives. The MoU states that there is currently a general lack of alignment between the long-term EU ambitions and the short-term planning horizon. Clear milestones need to be set for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and Maritime Spatial Plans that go beyond their current six-year cycle.
In addition, the entire sea basin must be considered, not just as a physical space that is divided up for different purposes, but as an ecosystem that must be restored to and maintained in good health, thus taking into consideration habitats, species and the interactions between them, as well as future impacts of changes in the marine environment due to climate change and human use. This includes grid connections, landing points and the impacts on coastal and onshore environments.
The purpose of the MoU is to define how this coalition of organisations (Offshore Coalition) will work together to develop a voluntary collaborative approach to planning environmentally-friendly development of offshore wind energy and grid infrastructure, furthering the elaboration and implementation of the European climate, energy and environmental protection objectives, including the European Green Deal.
The joint work will contribute to the sustainable deployment of offshore wind energy, protecting the natural environment, preventing the loss of biodiversity and safeguarding healthy ecosystems when deploying energy infrastructure.
The MoU is complemented by a work plan which is updated on a yearly basis and spells out the concrete activities to be undertaken by the members of the Coalition.
Offshore Coalition members
The 18 organisations are turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa, developers and energy companies Ørsted and Vattenfall, companies engaged in grid development TenneT (NL & DE), 50Herz, Elia, Rte, Amprion and Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), European wind energy association WindEurope and nature and climate organisations Climate Action Network Europe, NABU, WWF, BirdLife, rspb, The Wildlife Trusts, Natuur & Milieu (NL), Stichting de Noordzee (NL). RGI will act as convener and moderator of the Coalition.
In addition to the NGOs, wind farms and grid developers, the Coalition engages with suppliers, academia (universities and research institutes), the European Commission (in particular DG MARE, DG ENER and DG ENV) and other relevant national, European and international bodies. Source: offshore-coalition.eu