UK signs renewables deal with EU and North Sea countries

Landmark energy cooperation deal will enable UK to work with NSEC members to develop renewable projects in the North Seas

The UK Minister for Energy and Climate, Graham Stuart, has signed a landmark agreement on renewable energy cooperation with EU and North Sea countries, it has been announced.

In a statement, the UK government said that the Memorandum of Understanding with the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) forum fulfils commitments in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). 

It will enable the UK to work with NSEC members to develop renewables projects in the North Seas – specifically on projects linking electricity interconnectors and windfarms. The countries involved include Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and the European Commission, signalling a new phase in UK-EU cooperation.

The MoU sets out the terms for future cooperation between the UK and NSEC and enables closer cooperation in the development of offshore renewable energy, including offshore grids in the North Seas.

The initiative is expected to support the UK’s ambitious targets to increase offshore wind fivefold to 50GW and deliver 18GW of electricity interconnector capacity – up from 8.4 GW today - by 2030.

Minister of State for Energy and Climate, Graham Stuart, said: “I’m pleased to agree even greater energy cooperation with our North Seas neighbours, which will be vital in helping the UK meet it ambitious renewables target, including increasing offshore wind fivefold to 50GW by 2030.

“The development of renewables in the North Seas is critical for accelerating our clean transition and boosting energy security for the UK and our European neighbours,” he added.

Delivering Savings

The UK currently sends and receives electricity through cables that link us with neighbours like France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The agreement bolsters the mission to facilitate further interconnection.

Analysis by National Grid Electricity System Operator shows that a well-integrated grid linked to offshore wind farms can deliver savings to consumers of up to around £3 billion.

The former Prime Minister Liz Truss set the ground for the MoU at the European Political Community summit in Prague in October, setting out the strong case for close cooperation with the UK’s European neighbours on energy security and boosting renewables.

The MoU sets out the terms of cooperation between the UK and NSEC. Participation in NSEC will enable the UK to develop joint offshore projects with neighbouring countries as well as shape and influence regional approaches to issues such as cross-border electricity, the statement concluded.


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