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2045 outlook and implications for offshore wind in the North Seas

Published: 23/11/2017

In December 2015, at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate agreement to put the world on track to avoid climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C, and with an aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C. The decarbonization of electricity generation is generally considered one of the “easiest” of all actions and should be the highest priority, requiring CO2 neutrality as early as 2045.

In this report for TenneT and, Ecofys, a Navigant company, investigated the offshore wind capacity that is needed in the North Seas by 2045 to meet the COP21 targets and ensure a fully sustainable power supply for members of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg and Ireland).

Based on a 50% reduction in total energy demand by 2045 (relative to 2010), full decarbonization of electricity generation and an electrification level of 45%, Ecofys estimates an offshore wind capacity target for 2045 of 230 GW the North Seas countries. 180 GW of the total will be deployed in the North Sea and another 50 GW in the Baltic, Irish and Atlantic Seas.

The experts also looked into the requirements in view of spatial planning and the grid flexibility these capacity targets entail for the region to make recommendations for next steps.

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Maurits Ornstein
Energy Systems and Markets
Edwin Haesen
Energy Systems and Markets