Europe’s growth rate in offshore wind must triple to get Paris goals into reach

Published: 10/08/2017

To be in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, Europe will need a CO2-neutral electricity supply by 2045. A target we can only meet if the current wind installation rate were to triple, says Michiel Müller from Ecofys, a Navigant company, in an article for Energy Post.

The joint energy team of Ecofys and Navigant have investigated Europe’s renewable generation resources and find that offshore wind from the North Seas region will be pivotal for realising a 100% decarbonised electricity supply in less than 30 years.

The energy experts determined the total available onshore generation capacity by means of several scenario studies and identified how much of the  Paris-compatible electricity generation capacity can be met on land. The countries’ joint onshore generation resources (wind, solar, bio, hydro, and remaining nuclear) could provide up to 55% of the required capacity. This leaves 45% to be covered by offshore sources and translates into an offshore wind target of approximately 230 GW for the North Seas countries. 180 GW of that capacity could be generated in the North Sea, and the remaining 50 GW in other seas like the Baltic and Irish Seas and the Atlantic.

With 13 GW installed currently, however, the region is far from the required total. To realise this growth, the offshore wind installation rate would have to triple from the current 3 GW/year to approximately 10 GW/year in 2030.

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Find additional insights in two related white papers Ecofys and Navigant published earlier this year.