The North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) supports and facilitates the development of the offshore grid development and the large renewable energy potential in the region. This is a long-standing energy priority for the EU and the concerned countries.
The European Green Deal emphasises the importance of offshore renewable energy in meeting the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate and energy objectives and stresses the importance of regional cooperation.
Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Commission are currently members of the NSEC, since the withdrawal of the UK from the EU on 31 January 2020.
At the NSEC ministerial meeting on 4 December 2019, the NSEC countries and the Commission agreed that the conclusions from the meeting allows the NSEC to continue and reinforce the cooperation under the new 3-year work programme.
The work programme for 2020-2023 and the new structure put a particular emphasis on developing concrete cross-border offshore wind and grid projects (hybrid projects), with the potential to reduce costs and space of offshore developments.
The NSEC issued in July 2020 a joint statement calling for a European enabling framework for offshore wind energy. The framework should consider how to tackle existing barriers for an accelerated development of cross-border hybrid offshore wind energy projects in the North Seas, but also include guidance to EU countries on how to implement projects, adequate electricity market arrangements and efficient EU financing. This joint statement and further work of the NSEC in 2020 provided valuable input to the EU strategy on offshore renewable energy, published on 19 November 2020.
NSEC countries and the Commission took stock of the work and achievements in 2020 under the NSEC German Presidency, at a ministerial meeting on 14 December 2020. Belgium took over chairing NSEC in 2021.
In 2016, a joint political declaration established the North Seas Energy Cooperation, aiming at facilitating the cost-effective deployment of offshore renewable energy, in particular wind, and promoting interconnection between the countries in the region
The declaration emphasises the importance of voluntary cooperation, with the aim of securing a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply for the North Seas countries.
At the Ministerial meeting of 2 December 2021, NSEC countries and the European Commission signed a renewed Political Declaration, updating and aligning the objectives of the regional cooperation to the evolution of the political context since 2016.
Governance and support structure (2020-2023)
The governance structure consists of a high-level group, ministerial meetings and the coordinators committee. The former support groups have been transformed into four new support groups
- Hybrid and joint projects
- Maritime spatial planning
- Support framework and finance
- Delivering 2050
- Renewed Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries and the European Commission (2021)
- NSEC Governance and support structure
- Work programme 2020-2023
- Conclusions of the NSEC Ministerial Meeting (4 December 2019)
- Support schemes for offshore wind- emerging best practices (December 2017)
- Coordination of tenders for offshore wind in the North Seas (December 2017)
- North Seas energy clusters (September 2017)
- Political declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas countries (2016)