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Panel Offshore Wind Energy: Policy and Regulatory Perspectives
Connecting 50 GW of offshore wind energy - practical and regulatory considerations for an offshore grid on the North Sea
dr. Ceciel Nieuwenhout, PhD Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Groningen
The North Sea coastal states are aiming to construct many offshore wind farms in the North Sea. The total installed capacity may reach 50 GW within the coming decade. These wind farms need to be connected to the onshore electricity grids of the coastal states, in order to export the generated electricity. The way in which we connect these wind farms depends on the applicable regulatory framework. This means we can steer towards the most cost-effective connection of the offshore wind farms by reforming the regulatory framework: for example by facilitating "hub-based" connections or dual use of cables for both the evacuation of wind energy and for interconnection between two coastal states ("hybrid cables"). In her presentation, Ceciel Nieuwenhout will explain the way in which regulation influences the way wind farms are connected, and which options are available for making the connection of these wind farms more cost-effective in the future by reforming the regulatory framework. The cooperation between different North Sea coastal states is of particular importance, especially when the connection of the wind farms takes place through "hybrid cables" or even through a meshed grid. Therefore, Nieuwenhout will also expand on the way the coastal states can cooperate with each other on the regulatory framework, even in the light of Brexit Marine spatial planning and offshore wind energy in the Dutch North Sea: a balancing act
Rozanne Spijkerboer, PhD Researcher, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
The North Sea is becoming increasingly crowded with existing and new users competing over space. Offshore wind farms are one of the most prominent new users in the North Sea. Using my background as a spatial planner, my research focuses on how to balance these various interests in light of the limited amount of sea-space. Therefore, in my presentation I will talk about marine spatial planning as a concept to help organize sea space in relation to offshore wind farms. I will focus on the Dutch case, providing a short history of planning for offshore wind farms, but I will mainly be focusing on the recent North Sea Dialogues and the North Sea Agreement [Noordzeeakkoord]. This is a unique example of negotiation between various sectors over sea-space and how to regulate various uses in relation to each other. I will share the results of my research on how this balancing-act takes place and how this leads to new policies with regards to offshore wind farms.