EC marks €500 million budget for offshore wind farms

The European Commission has unveiled proposals worth €3.5 billion for energy projects over the next two years. This includes budget worth €500 million marked towards offshore wind generation projects.

The €3.5 billion dedicated for energy sees at least €1.75 billion 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 €1.25 billion goes to supporting five carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. The final €500 million is to help finance and develop the next generation of offshore wind farms.

Commenting on the €500 million investment, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said that committing EU funds to promote offshore wind energy represents "wise long-term thinking" and "investing public money to help unlock the largest European indigenous energy resource during the current economic uncertainty is equally strategic."

The Association mentioned that all projects are in an advanced stage of development and could make a real contribution to the economic recovery.

Christian Kjaer, chief executive, EWEA said the Commission's proposal to dedicate €500mn to help finance offshore wind should allow even larger volumes of wind-generated electricity to be integrated quickly into the existing grid, provide new R&D opportunities to make the power sector more efficient and less expensive, improve operations and maintenance, and speed up market deployment.

The wind industry alone is expected to contribute towards delivering 12-14 percent 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 percent of total EU electrical production.