Four North Sea countries sign cooperation on green hydrogen

Today in Esberg, Denmark, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck are attending a conference to promote energy policy cooperation in the North Sea area.

The North Sea Summit brings together the leaders of state and government, as well as the energy ministers of Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The conference in Esberg today includes Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, as well as corporate representatives from all participating nations.

The energy ministers of the four nations surrounding the North Sea reached an agreement for offshore wind energy and green hydrogen during today’s conference. In the future, the statement promises to cooperatively construct “hybrid” offshore cooperation projects, which integrate wind farms and power infrastructures and are connected to the several Member States. As a result, the North Sea region should grow as a “European Green Power Plant,” supplying green power to the EU. The energy ministers’ declaration supplements the proclamation signed on the spot by the presidents of states and governments of the North Sea nations.

“Today’s agreement between the energy ministers is a key milestone in cross-border cooperation,” Minister Habeck said. It serves as the foundation for the first true European power plants that generate electricity from renewable energy sources. We can increase offshore wind energy in the North Sea region even quicker and more efficiently with our partner countries, and open up new opportunities for green hydrogen. As a result, we are bolstering the European expansion of renewable energy and lowering our reliance on imported gas.”

The four North Sea nations have set themselves expansion objectives of at least 65 GW by 2030 and 150 GW by 2050 for offshore wind generation. By 2050, this translates to a tenfold increase in current generating capacity. Simultaneously, collaboration in the future generation of green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and the growth of the region’s hydrogen infrastructure must be reinforced.

The energy ministers are united in their support for EU-wide electricity market regulations that enable wind generation to be properly integrated into the grid, as well as equitable cost-benefit sharing in cross-border cooperation projects. The necessity of finance tools and the speeding up of EU approval procedures are also stressed.

In addition, Federal Minister Habeck and the Danish Energy Minister signed a bilateral statement of purpose. The two nations have agreed to collaborate closely in the future in the areas of green hydrogen and cross-border infrastructure development.