The European Commission-funded consortium, made up of eight organizations, said that offshore wind farm developers, operators and traders see a harmonization of electricity market and electricity transmission rules across Europe as essential for the future offshore grid. National and EU policy makers, being more cautious, will rather opt for making the existing support schemes compatible.

Achim Woyte, project coordinator of OffshoreGrid, said: “The problem is that regulatory frameworks for inter-connectors and offshore transmission are very different between member states.”

The consortium said that legal uncertainty and the risk of stranded investments are also checking the development of an offshore grid. In most of the countries, the regulatory framework does not clarify what support an offshore wind farm could be eligible for, if the farm is connected to several different countries.

The report also says that two factors, the EU’s 2020 renewable energy 20% target and the urgent need for improving the security of Europe’s electricity supply, are driving the development of an offshore grid.