A signing by 10 Ministers early this month from all the ‘North Seas Countries’ of an agreement to develop an offshore electricity grid is a long-awaited and major step forward for a single European market for electricity.

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Ministers and the European Commission in Brussels, is the starting point to create a new offshore grid and to tear down unnecessary and costly barriers to electricity trade between EU Member States:

  • EU governments have agreed to cooperate on identifying and eliminating barriers to cross-border electricity trade
  • Ministers also agreed to simplify complex and lengthy authorisation procedures, which today hinder the planning and construction of a transnational offshore grid.

"The European Commission has highlighted that 140 Gigawatt of offshore wind power capacity is currently being planned. For us, Europe's wind energy industry, the Memorandum is an indispensable step to create an offshore electricity grid, critical for developing a single European market for electricity and for allowing offshore wind farms to plug into that grid", said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).