TenneT presents North Sea Wind Power Hub to Dutch King and Queen

On 6 March, during a German-Dutch trade delegation meeting in Bremerhaven, TenneT CEO Manon van Beek presented the vision and current plans for a wind power hub in the North Sea (NSWPH) to Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands and Queen Máxima.

“We are especially pleased and honoured by the interest of the royal couple in the energy hub,” said Manon van Beek. “Joint visioning and concept development such as this one are necessary to create sustainable possibilities for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions in Europe. This requires international cooperation and coordination, political momentum and courage and the support of non-governmental organisations.”

Mass-scale offshore wind
In order to achieve the Paris Climate targets, large quantities of offshore wind power are needed for the energy transition. The envisioned wind power capacities are from 70 to 150 gigawatts by the year 2040 and up to 180 gigawatts by 2045 in the North Sea, TenneT says. To safeguard grid stability and system flexibility and to facilitate a cost-efficient long-term future roll-out on the North Sea, a fundamentally new approach to long term offshore grid planning is required, combining wind power in-feed, interconnection and potential sector coupling and storage; characterized by an internationally coordinated roll-out of the North Sea Infrastructure. International coordination between countries, transmission system operators and developers is crucial.

An international consortium consisting of TenneT, Energinet, Gasunie and Port of Rotterdam is evaluating and developing technical concepts and solutions while realising this at the lowest possible societal cost and environmental impact. The main idea of the NSWPH concept is the construction of one or more hubs at a suitable location in the North Sea with interconnectors to bordering North Sea countries. The whole system may function as a hub for transport of wind energy, an interconnection hub to the connected countries, a working hub for offshore wind developers and a location for possible Power to Gas solutions. The NSWPH could serve several hundreds of millions of European households with green energy, depending on its scale, size and capacity.

On the long term (after 2030), once large scale, far offshore wind areas are ready for development, artificial islands or hubs, instead of a platform, could be developed as central hubs to support the necessary energy evacuation infrastructure e.g. electrical or power to gas conversion (esp. green hydrogen).

A first Cost Evaluation of North Sea Offshore Wind Post 2030 study was conducted on behalf of the consortium. In addition to the study, the consortium prepared a concept paper that includes the consortium’s view of this study including its (conclusions and limitations) as well as recognizing the other topics regarding spatial planning and its views on.

The NSWPH is further being explored by the consortium. The consortium will share its findings of an intense assess phase, likely before summer 2019, and will consider how to build on this and scale up the initiative and partnerships. Source: TenneT

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