European countries have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and work program to enhance their cooperation in offshore wind industry.

offshore wind

The agreement has been signed at the Energy Council in Luxembourg by Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, France, Denmark, Ireland and Belgium to reduce the costs and accelerate the deployment of offshore wind power.

The deal focuses on the development of offshore wind energy to ensure a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply for the participating countries while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Union vice-president Maroš Šefcovic said: "Close regional cooperation and pooling together of energy sources will be essential to unlock the full potential of the North Sea resources at the lowest cost."

The declaration also aims to develop missing electricity links in a bid to allow power trading and further integration of energy markets.

Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "Today marks a turning point in cooperation in the North Seas region. We now have a concrete action plan that will deliver results.

"This strategy will boost interconnection and renewables capacity, help fight climate change and bolster energy security, which are the central goals of the Energy Union."

The deal will focus on reducing offshore wind costs through cooperation on spatial planning, grids, finance, technical standards and regulation such as health and safety rules.

Industry body WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: "The agreement signed in Luxembourg today is a major step forward to fully realize the potential of offshore wind in Europe."

The signing of the MoU follows a declaration signed by 11 energy companies to reduce offshore wind can reduce costs to €80/MWh by 2025, including the costs of connecting to the grid.

The companies include Adwen, EDPR, Eneco, Eon, GE, Iberdrola, MHI Vestas, RWE, Siemens, Statoil and Vattenfall.

Dickson added: "The main challenge facing offshore wind today is the visibility of market size and regulation after 2020.

"Clear targets for deployment and tendering will unlock new investments, reduce the cost of capital and allow us to meet the cost reduction target."

Image: Energy companies agree to reduce offshore wind power costs to €80/MWh by 2025. Photo: courtesy of WindEurope/ © Vattenfall.