Norstec to boost clean energy of northern seas

Tuesday, 16 October, 2012 - 14:45

Representatives of over 40 companies and organizations in the offshore industry met in London at the beginning of October for the first general meeting of the newly founded interest group Norstec. The network, which sees itself as the wind-equivalent of the solar initiative Desertec, wants to push forward the generation of clean energy in the northern seas of Europe and thus open up the economic opportunities associated with it. Norstec was started in April by the British "Clean Energy Ministerial" forum. The participants include world-leading manufacturers and developers as well as suppliers and research institutes.

Norstec wants to demonstrate to the public, industry and politicians the potential for regenerative energy generation that can be found in Europe's northern seas. The North Sea region has a potential to develop 40 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020 and up to 125 GW of offshore wind and marine renewables by 2030, according to the Norstec vision. In order to utilize this to the full, the Norstec signatories want to work together closely and exchange information.

At the official contract signing, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves. As I said when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea.

Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen." Edward Davey, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, added: "The offshore wind energy industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re energizing once-thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond. I am determined that we work closely with North Sea governments, businesses and academics to make the most of our plentiful offshore renewable resources."

The companies that have joined Norstec right from the beginning include manufacturers such as Siemens, Gamesa, Alstom and Areva, but also energy supply companies such as Scottish Renewables, Statkraft and Dong Energy. Benj Sykes, Operations Director and Deputy Country Manager at Dong's UK Renewables Business, said: "Today, north-west Europe is the global leader in offshore wind energy with investments of more than 6 billion euros expected over the next year. Dong Energy is at the forefront of this investment and by 2014 we will have doubled our wind energy generation capacity from its 2011 level to over 2 GW of installed projects. We are happy to be a part of the Norstec network as we believe the maximum potential can be achieved through working in partnerships." But he also pointed out that in order to utilize the offshore wind energy potential strong political support will be required.

Katharina Garus

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