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These 3 Countries Just Made A Landmark Agreement To Increase Offshore Wind Power

Over the next 10 years, three European countries will be part of the process in creating over 60 gigawatts of offshore wind power. That will greatly expand the capacity of 13.8 gigawatts from the renewable source as of 2016. The new joint statement is on top of the agreement 10 countries signed on a year ago.

The governments of Germany, Denmark, and Belgium have all signed on with 25 different companies to invest in offshore wind farms last Tuesday at the Offshore Wind Energy 2017 event in London. It’s expected that the deal will continue bringing down costs of production. It’s already gone down by 22 percent in Europe based on a report from The Independent, and that’s just in 2016.

Giles Dickson, the CEO of WindEurope and one of those 25 companies that co-organized the ceremony, admired the aggressive effort in the wind power industry: “With this Joint Statement, leading businesses and governments are taking the next step by committing to cooperate on the deployment of big volumes for offshore wind energy...Today’s statement is a clear recognition of the strategic importance of offshore wind as a clean, competitive and reliable energy source for Europe.”

This new pledge, which was also signed last Tuesday in London, expands upon an agreement made by 10 different countries to help bring down the costs of building wind farms. According to a study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the cost is roughly $140 per megawatt-hour, but that could reach under $100 by 2035.

The United Kingdom wasn’t involved in the latest agreement, but they weren’t able to sign due to general elections being held later in the week. They also signed later on after the first declaration was announced. Ireland, Norway, and Sweden are other northern European countries that signed on with the prior agreement last June. WindEurope is expecting that all 10 countries will support the new statement at this year’s Offshore Wind Energy event.

DONG Energy is one of the biggest worldwide developers in offshore wind farms. They’ve recently activated the Burbo Bank extension off the coast of Liverpool, which nearly tripled the original capacity and now sits at 348 megawatts. The original 90 megawatts have been active since 2007, and the company is currently working on a two-megawatt battery storage system to manage stability in the National Grid.

Samuel Leupold, CEO of DONG Energy, believes that a clear, ongoing schedule of projects will increase efficiency:  “More than ever, we need countries to coordinate and lay out a clear vision. A visible and steady pipeline of projects between 2020 and 2030 will allow for continued cost reductions, a thriving supply chain and continued European leadership in an increasingly international market for offshore wind. We welcome the joint statement and call on other governments to commit to robust volumes.” 

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