Activities and Prospects

1. Introduction
2. Recent and Current Research Activities
3. Recent and Current Projects
4. National Plans
5. National Activities
6. Market Developments
7. Benefits to the Environment
8. Employment Prospects for Europe
9.Benefits for European Industry

4   National Plans

This section summarises the various national plans that have been put forward by countries across Europe.

Belgium’s federal authorities have created a legal framework for granting concessions and authorisations for OWECS.

Today, wind turbines produce 15% of Danish electricity consumption. Denmark has a 2030 target of 4,000 MW produced by offshore wind. This, together with other renewables, will cover 50% of the total electricity consumption. The first milestone is the establishment of 800 MW offshore wind farms by 2008. Of this 45 MW is already established (Middelgrunden, Vindeby and Tunoe Knob). The 160 MW Horns Rev and 150 MW Roedsand are under construction. [34]-[36]


The national energy strategy from 1997 mentions renewable energy to have significant role and wind energy to have a recognised role by 2025. The Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources elaborated this, while recognising the Kyoto protocol on the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases of 1997 and the EU White Paper endorsed by the Commission in 1997 and the Council in 1998, into a targets for renewable energy deployment.

The target is to increase the use of renewable energy sources at least by 50% (3 Mtoe/a) by the year 2010 from the level of the year 1995. 90% of this increase is expected to originate from of bioenergy, 3% from wind power, 3% from hydropower, 4% from heat pumps and less than 0.5% from solar power.

The share of renewable energy sources in power production would increase by 8.3 TWh (2010 MW) from the level in 1995. The major part, 75 %, would be generated from biofuels. Achieving the targets would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 7.7 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The vision for 2025 is an addition of 100% (6 Mtoe) of renewable energy from the level in 1995, with biomass still dominating but already several per cents of the total electricity generated by wind.

The target for wind energy deployment is set to 500 MW in 2010 and a vision to 2000 MW in 2025. Thus wind energy production would reach 5 TWh/a in 2025, which is about 5% of the projected gross power consumption.

Action plan for Renewable energy resources in Finland, English translation, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Reports 1/2000.

See also

France has a target of 5,000MW to be generated by wind power in 2010.

In Germany there is no national plan in terms of installation figures, however the contribution of offshore wind energy use in the context of CO2-reduction and sustainable energy supply policy are investigated in a national study on the "Further Use of Wind Energy with Respect to Climate Protection" [31]. Governmental objectives are set to cover 5-6% of the national net electricity consumption with wind generated electricity by 2010 and to reach a 50% renewable energy share of the national electricity demand by 2050 [17]. Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG – Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz) [3] continues the reimbursement at a fixed feed-in tariff. In the reformed EEG a specially raised tariff is foreseen during the first nine years of operation of an offshore wind farm. This regulation is limited to projects coming online before the end of 2006.

The Greek government’s policy is in line with EU energy policy regarding the penetration of RES in the energy market. [16] and [17]. The government is encouraging the large-scale installation of RES plants by means of subvention of capital investment, loan interest subsidies and tax-exemptions. The legislation also applies to offshore wind energy.

Ireland has no specific targets or detailed national plans for offshore wind energy, but it is the main focus of policy targets for both maximising offshore resources and promoting renewable energy. 7 foreshore licenses have been awarded for site investigation and procedures for foreshore leases are in place. [18]-[24]

Italy has produced a ‘White Paper for the valorisation of Renewable Energy Sources’, which forecasts 2500MW of electricity produced from wind by 2008-12. However, it envisages that this would be mainly onshore. There is an initiative by the Ministry of Environment with Assomineraria to produce an agreement document for national waters. The Province of Ragusa, Sicily has issued a Call for Proposal and Assignment document. (in Italian)

Officially, the Netherlands target (Duurzame Energie in Opmars; Ministerie van Economische Zaken 1997) is 20% renewables by 2020, equivalent to 2759MW, of which 1250MW is from offshore wind, [25]. The government is expected to increase this targeted power quantity in the near future.

Poland has a strategy for Renewable Energy Development of 7.5% by 2010, [15]

Strategy aims to increase RES share in the total energy balance from the present 2,4% to 7,5% in the year 2010 and 14% by the year 2020. The document presents three scenarios of RES increase by the year 2010:

·   7,5% scenario,

·   9% scenario,

·   12,5% scenario.

Source: EC BREC

Extra RES installed capacity according to the Polish Strategy of RES development

Spain has no national plans and has no specific incentives for OWECS.

Sweden has no fixed target for offshore wind power, but it has been identified as a source of electricity generation that could replace nuclear, coal and oil. The state budget earmarks money for research and demonstrations in the field of offshore wind power. Many political and other groups are lobbying for offshore wind power and propose changing laws and regulations in favour of it. Some of the groups are developers and manufacturers with vested interests in promoting OWECS and some claims for future growth are considered unrealistic.

The UK has now ended the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation but is still providing support (between £60m - £80m this year) and has issued a consultation document on renewables [26]. The primary market is likely to be licensed UK electricity suppliers fulfilling their Renewable Energy Obligation commitments. Current estimates are for net revenue of around £0.05p per kWh. The national objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% from 1990 levels by 2010, to reduce CO2 emissions by 20%, 5% of UK electricity from renewables by 2003 and 10% by 2010, with 2600MW offshore by 2010, [27] & [28]. The Crown Estate has pre-qualified and allocated Agreements for Lease for the first round of offshore sites to 18 developers for 13 sites [30].

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Updated September 2008