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However, there remains an unquestionable need for an acceleration in the deployment of renewable generation capacity in order to meet the world’s net zero objectives, and offshore wind remains set to play a central role in helping to deliver this essential policy objective.
In 2021, the federal Belgian Government confirmed plans to increase Belgium’s offshore wind capacity by 3.15 – 3.5 GW. In 2023, the Government reached agreement in principle on the tender criteria for the new offshore wind concessions, including a support mechanism; this remains to be enacted into various legal implementation instruments (royal and ministerial decrees) and possibly subject to EU state aid approval.
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The French Government recently announced a 40 GW target of offshore wind capacity by 2050 (c. 50 wind projects). This would make France one of the leading countries in offshore wind development in Europe. The development of an offshore wind project in France currently takes about eight to ten years. France has recently adopted new tools to help accelerate the process.
Read more about the regime in France here.
Germany is committed to achieve the EU climate targets and the 1.5-degree pathway as set out in the Paris Agreement. The aim is now an accelerated expansion of renewable energies to increase their share in gross electricity consumption from around 46% in 2022 to at least 80% by the year 2030. Regarding offshore wind projects, comprehensive measures have been introduced to achieve the expansion targets for offshore wind of 30 GW in 2030, 40 GW in 2035 and 70 GW in 2045 respectively as effectively as possible. These are very ambitious goals, especially in the short term.
Read more about the regime in Germany here.
The Italian Government is committed to developing offshore wind as part of its strategy to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, improve its energy security, and create jobs and economic growth. The Italian Government has committed to create a favourable regulatory environment for offshore wind development in Italy and is taking several steps to achieve its offshore wind targets and support operators and investors in this sector.
Read more about the Italian regime here.
Offshore wind generation remains a cornerstone of the Dutch Government’s ambition to reduce CO₂ emissions by 55% by 2030. The Dutch Government has published road maps for offshore wind which set forth the rollout sequence in which wind project zones and included sites will be developed, tender data and the projected generation capacity of each site.
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Norway has recently undertaken significant efforts to establish a regulatory framework for offshore wind energy production and develop its initial large-scale offshore wind projects. The North Sea and the Norwegian continental shelf boast substantial wind resources and available space, making them well-suited for large-scale offshore wind production. The Norwegian Government aims to designate areas with a projected capacity of 30 GW for offshore wind energy production by the year 2040.
Read more about the Norwegian regime here.
The Polish Government plans to reach an installed capacity of 11 GW in offshore wind by 2040, including 5.9 GW by 2030. The Polish Offshore Act of 2020 was adopted specifically to facilitate the development of offshore wind projects in the Polish Exclusive Economic Zone within the Baltic Sea.
Read more about the regime in Poland here.
Portugal has a goal of reaching 10 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030. Offshore wind projects will entail a shift in Portugal’s energy strategy, boosted by developments in technology and based on a good track record of delivering renewable energy projects and a stable investment environment.
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The Spanish Government intends to facilitate the development of offshore wind energy to promote the country’s leadership in R&D related to renewable energy and attain environmental objectives. In this regard, the Spanish Government has set a target of 3 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. This is a relatively modest goal (compared to other European countries, such as France or Portugal). This is because Spain’s sea is characterised by a relatively deep continental shelf, mostly requiring floating turbines. For offshore wind facilities to be developed in Spain, a few regulatory changes must first be approved by the Spanish Government.
Read more about the regime in Spain here.
Sweden has one of the longest coastlines in Europe and there are significant opportunities for energy extraction in Sweden’s marine areas. In February 2022, the Swedish Government adopted the first marine spatial plans, which are designed to facilitate the expansion of offshore wind power corresponding to 20-30 terawatt (TWh) hours per year.
Read more about the Swedish regime here.
The UK Government has committed to decarbonising its power system by 2035 and achieving net zero by 2050. It has announced an ambitious plan to deploy up to 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, with up to 5 GW coming from floating offshore wind. Offshore wind has been an established part of the UK energy mix for well over a decade and will continue to play a critical role in the coming decades.
Read more about the UK regime here.
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