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Stockholm - day one

Royal Haskoning’s renewables market manager for the UK and Europe Bev Walker is attending EWEA European Offshore Wind Conference in Stockholm.

“Proceedings have kicked off with a bang at this year’s EWEA European Offshore Wind Conference in Stockholm - the big news being the call for investment into wind energy, and a change of tack by the member states who are upgrading their policies to make investment more attractive.

The opening session was an extremely interesting one, and has set the scene for the rest of the conference. We heard from Andreas Nauen (CEO, Siemens Wind Power & European Offshore Wind) who is chairing this year’s conference; as well as Andris Piebalgs (EU Energy Commissioner), David Kidney (Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK), and Maud Olofsson (Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Swedish Minister of Enterprise and Energy), among others.

The key topic of conversation has been 202020 – the target set of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020. This is a great target; but it’s taken everyone by surprise as the realisation dawns that it will take an enormous amount of investment and change in future infrastructure to be met. Pledges have been made today by each of the European Presidents and Prime Ministers to not only meet this target, but try to exceed it.

It’s great to see this commitment from Europe as part of the new economic principles – there will be a total investment from the EU of around €3980M euros, of which €565M will be for offshore wind, but more importantly €910M euros has been pledged to the Supergrid. Overall investment is expected to be over €100bn euros over the next ten years, which will also create more than 2.8M jobs. This is big news and shows how member states have now realised the vital importance of continental interconnectors to the future of wind energy.

Off the back of that, EWEA has also launched a grid plan for what their preferred grid connectors will be for 2020 and 2030 (see below) – big implications for the UK, which has the chance to lead here.”

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