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MEPs: a faster deployment of offshore wind is needed, but it must be managed sustainably

The European Parliament has set out recommendations on how to deploy offshore wind more quickly.

In the report adopted by MEPs, it is stressed that meeting the 2030 and 2050 targets requires the faster deployment of offshore renewable energy, but maritime space and coasts must be managed more sustainably. MEPs said that a net-zero emissions economy requires renewable energy to be deployed on an unprecedented scale, highlighting the urgency of improving and expanding existing infrastructure. Indeed, many Member States are lagging behind in the necessary switch to renewables, they say.

“The offshore renewable energy strategy is key to the green transition, where time is of the essence,” commented lead MEP Morten Petersen. “We need lots of green electricity to fulfil our climate objectives and the offshore renewable energy strategy is absolutely essential in this regard.”

MEPs also pointed out the importance of shortening procedures to get a permit and call on the Member States to set up a transparent process and consider introducing time limits for issuing permits where necessary. They stressed that the EU is a technological leader in the offshore wind production sector and could expect a significant economic boost by supporting the growth of clean energy production. In this regard, the NextGenerationEU recovery fund will provide a unique opportunity to mobilise capital in addition to private investments. According to the European Commission, the energy production targets for offshore wind in all of the EU’s sea basins are at least 60 Gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 340 GW by 2050.

“Today’s vote shows that we all understand the urgency of the matter and that we are putting offshore renewable energy front and centre in the fight against climate change,” continued Mr Petersen. “We need to introduce time limits, and remove the many barriers that are still standing in the way of a fast and successful integration of renewables in Europe.”

When it comes to environmental protection, offshore wind farms can benefit marine biodiversity if designed and built sustainably but must coexist alongside other activities, such as fishing and maritime transport. MEPs have reminded us that work needs to be done in order for the public to accept offshore wind and to convince citizens that renewable energy is key to achieving energy independence and security of supply.

It is crucial to design, develop and deploy renewable offshore energy in a circular and renewable way, as substantial amounts of metals and minerals are needed, MEPs said, calling for an EU-wide landfill ban on decommissioned wind turbine blades by 2025.

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