Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark inked an agreement in Esbjerg to produce 65 GW of offshore wind energy and 150 GW of green hydrogen by 2030 and 2050, respectively. Declaring their intention to become Europe’s Green Power Plant, the joint accord intends to tenfold the region’s offshore wind power capacity, with total private sector investments expected to reach €135 billion. In keeping with the European Commission’s ‘REPowerEU’ initiative, the four countries also emphasised the significance of “speeding up” permitting procedures at EU level.

To speed up deployment, the EU executive intends to make approval procedures easier, declaring new wind and solar projects to be of “overriding public interest” and establishing “go-to” zones at the national level in low-risk zones. The North Sea appears to be an ideal candidate to become the EU’s first “go-to” zone for renewables, with Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium all supporting faster permitting.

The agreement will provide power to almost 200 million households. At the same time, the four countries intend to boost collaboration in the production of “green” hydrogen from renewable energy, with plans to enhance regional infrastructure. Steelmakers are seeking to generate carbon-neutral steel value green hydrogen, a rare premium commodity.

REGlobal’s Views: Offshore wind is becoming a highly sought after energy source especially in light of the energy crisis which has been further complicated by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Countries with high offshore wind potential in Europe are now accelerating their capacity deployment plans to ensure energy security in the future and reduce their dependence on gas.