The switch from conventional fossil fuels to greener, renewable sources has been occurring for some time. Many companies have taken initiatives to become carbon neutral, and in turn several countries have also outlined plans to do the same. Now, in a rather large step, the European Union is planning to massively increase their offshore wind capacity.
According to the new plans, the EU plans to up their capacity from 12 gigawatts to 300 gigawatts by 2030. The “Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy” also calls for 40 gigawatts of ocean energy from things like tidal and wave power to be accomplished in the same time span. In the short term, the plan is for offshore wind capacity to hit 60 gigawatts by 2030, and for ocean energy, which is at just 13 megawatts currently, to hit 1 gigawatt.
Of course, this plan is expected to be quite costly and require a serious manufacturing commitment. The EU expects that it will require nearly 800 billion euros, or about $946.2 billion, to be invested in total for these goals to be reached. Two thirds would go to grid infrastructure, while the remaining third would go to actual power production. Much of this cash is expected to come via private investments.
While industry body WindEurope supported the new strategy, they also echoed concerns over just how much work and investment would be required. Huge investments would need to be made in both offshore grids, and onshore grids to reinforce them. According to their estimates, ports would need at least 6.5 billion euros of investment in order to handle such a plan.
However, if the EU is able to get their plan off the ground, it could seriously signal a major shift in the energy sector, and lead to more nations increasing their own green energy manufacturing in order to keep up.