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Navigant provides a 2045 outlook and implications for offshore wind in the North Seas

Challenge

To be in line with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C, Europe will need a CO2-neutral electricity supply by 2045. How much offshore wind capacity would be required from the North Seas region to achieve this goal?

Solution

In a report for TenneT and Energinet.dk, Navigant Consulting, Inc. 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, UK, 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%, Navigant 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.

Impact

While the need for more interconnection can be clearly described, the incentives to enable these investments will require new methodologies to value grid stability. The experts also looked into the requirements in view of spatial planning and the grid flexibility these capacity targets entail for the region. The study recommends updating cost-benefit analysis methodologies and regulatory measures to incentivize interconnector capacity and maintain operational security.

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