For the first time, the NSEC ministers agreed on overall, non-binding offshore renewable energy targets for the marine area of the entire NSEC region at their ministerial meeting in Dublin, which was held under the Irish co-presidency of NSEC.

By 2050, the nine NSEC nations must have installed at least 260GW of offshore wind power. This will correspond to more than 85% of the EU’s target of 300 GW by 2050. Ministers and the Commission reaffirmed their dedication to using NSEC collaboration as the platform for realising their expanded offshore objectives.

Kadri Simson, the commissioner for energy, welcomed the new goals, saying:

“Today’s commitment is a great example of the kind of regional cooperation that the Commission envisaged in our Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy. It is impressive that the target agreed by nine NSEC countries constitutes more than 85% of the EU-wide ambition we outlined two years ago. The green energy transition has only become more urgent since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The acceleration of renewables deployment is one of the three pillars of the REPowerEU Plan to end our dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Increasing renewable energy will not only help to improve the sustainability of our energy sector, it will improve our security of supply and the affordability of energy – two challenges that we are facing in the EU at the moment”

Eamon Ryan, minister of the environment, climate change, and communications, said the following during the ministerial meeting:

In Ireland alone our sea area is seven times our landmass. The North Atlantic and North Sea comprise some of the windiest locations on the globe. It is our greatest collective resource of continuous energy and it is momentous that we have agreed today to be ambitious in our targets, as a collective. Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the consequential energy price shock and security of supply crisis has shown us how crucial it is that we move away, as quickly as possible, from our reliance on expensive and ransomed fossil fuels. It has also shown us how important unity across the European Union has been in responding to this crisis. When it comes to realising the potential of offshore wind, again, it is best that we work in unity, that we set agreed targets, and that we operate as a collective. With this approach, we can provide assurances to householders and businesses – in our own countries and across Europe – that firstly, Europe will be energy independent, and secondly, that these new renewable energy sources and resultant hydrogen from our seas will be fairly shared and, critically, will be affordable”.

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