Six European ports join forces to facilitate offshore wind expansion

This Thursday, representatives of six leading European wind ports signed a declaration in Esbjerg, Denmark, to join forces to accelerate the green transition in an effort to meet Europe’s ambitious offshore wind targets.

The six ports that have entered the unique collaboration are Port Oostende in Belgium, Groningen Seaports/Eemshaven in the Netherlands, Niedersachsen Ports/Cuxhaven in Germany, Nantes-Saint Nazaire Port in France, Humber in the UK and Port Esbjerg in Denmark.

Today, the European offshore wind strategy target is to deploy at least 65 GW of offshore wind by 2030. With currently just over 13 GW installed, Europe aims to install well over five times as much offshore wind in the next eight years as have been built during the previous twenty years. This target puts great pressure on European wind ports because there is currently not enough port capacity to install all these offshore wind farms by the deadline.

According to the six involved CEOs, with the declaration the ports want to send a signal to the market that the ports are willing to do anything to accelerate the green transition with offshore wind. By strengthening cooperation operationally and practically, the ports are laying the groundwork for future expansions and securing sufficient capacity.

As Europe’s leading offshore ports, they will contribute to knowledge sharing and best practice while respecting competition legislation.

The ports may, for example, collaborate on getting around the issue of space shortages. If one port only has space for half a project, another port may have space for the other half.

The ports will also try to ensure optimal processes and, for example, share digital experiences. Port Esbjerg has just developed a digital tool – a so-called digital twin – to help triple the capacity of offshore wind in the future, without having to expand.

The ports’ collaboration should also support the political work in Europe.

”The importance of ports in Europe should not solely be calculated in tonnes, but should also be assessed in terms of their contribution in the deployment and supply of energy, in particular renewable energy. I am very excited to see these six important wind energy ports joining their efforts and leading the way in view of reaching the EU offshore goals. Through cooperation it will be easier to face the identified headwinds.” said Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO). Source: Groningen Seaports/Oostende

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