The European Commission has unveiled plans to increase offshore wind capacity to 300GW by 2050, as part of its renewable energy plan to help meet the European Union’s (EU) climate change targets.

The EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy aims to increase Europe’s installed offshore wind capacity to at least 60GW by 2030 and 300GW by 2050.

Moreover, the commission intends to add 40GW of ocean energy and other emerging technologies such as floating wind and solar by 2050.

European Green Deal executive vice-president Frans Timmermans said: “Today’s strategy shows the urgency and opportunity of ramping up our investment in offshore renewables.

“With our vast sea basins and industrial leadership, the European Union has all that it needs to rise up to the challenge. Already, offshore renewable energy is a true European success story.

“We aim to turn it into an even greater opportunity for clean energy, high quality jobs, sustainable growth, and international competitiveness.”

Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said: “We need to boost the EU’s domestic production to achieve our climate targets, feed the growing electricity demand and support the economy in its post-Covid recovery.”

New target estimated to need €800bn investment

The EU Commission estimates nearly €800bn of investment to be required for renewable projects to meet the 2050 offshore renewable energy targets.

Additionally, the strategy will require integrating offshore renewable energy development objectives in the National Maritime Spatial Plans.

For long term planning and deployment for increased offshore energy capacity, the commission will encourage cross-border cooperation between member states.

To support research and development, particularly in less mature technologies, Horizon Europe funds will be mobilised and ensure a strengthened supply chain, the commission said.

Moreover, the strategy highlights the need to “improve manufacturing capacity and port infrastructure”.

A dedicated platform on offshore renewables is also planned to be established by the commission within the Clean Energy Industrial Forum to help address supply chain development.