"It would take years to plan and build an offshore grid": EWEA

It would take years to plan and build an offshore grid, according to European Wind Energy Association CEO Christian Kjaer.

According to a comment made by Kjaer, (reported by popularmechanics.com), there are no timetables being discussed at the moment.  Kjaer says half the problem is political: National monopolies both create and distribute power in most countries, and connecting to an international grid that contributes power from wind would lower energy prices, offering very little incentive for them to do it.

Last month, the Association had welcomed the key role given to offshore wind energy in the European Commission's Strategic Energy Review (SER). According to EWEA, offshore grid and increased interconnector capacity will allow large amounts of offshore wind energy to be integrated into the electricity network, while improving the functioning of the internal electricity market.

"The European Commission has identified Europe's largest untapped energy resources and understands offshore wind power's importance as a clean, inexhaustible and above all indigenous source in a carbon and energy constrained future," Kjaer had said. "With its decision to develop a Blueprint for a North Sea offshore grid, the European Commission is addressing the key barrier to unlocking its massive potential."

Although nine countries - one-third of the EU Member States - now have operational offshore wind farms, up from just five 11 months ago, the offshore electricity infrastructure needs to be vastly improved and the overall electricity grid updated and reinforced.