North Sea Offshore Grid

North Sea Offshore Grid

The North Sea Offshore Grid, officially the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI), is a collaboration between EU member-states and Norway to create an integrated offshore energy grid which links wind farms and other renewable energy sources across the northern seas of Europe. It is one of several proposed European super grid schemes.



The North Sea Offshore Grid was proposed by the European Commission in the Second Strategic Energy Review, published in November 2008. The initiative was identified as one of the six priority energy infrastructure actions of the European Union. According to the European Commission, the North Sea Offshore Grid should become one of the building blocks of a future European super grid.[1]

The political declaration of the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative was signed on 7 December 2009 at the European Union Energy Council. The declaration was signed by Germany, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg.[2][3]

In 2010, the European Commission plans to publish a "Blueprint for a North Sea Grid".[4]


Electricity would be transmitted via high-voltage direct current cables, allowing it to be sold and exchanged in all involved countries. It would also make it easier to optimise energy production,[5] and make the system overall less susceptible to the climate; Norway's hydroelectric power plants could act as a "giant battery", storing the power produced and releasing it at peak times, or when wind strength is low. Several high-voltage direct current interconnectors such as proposed cable between Norway and the United Kingdom have been seen as integral parts of the project.[6]


Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for the Government of Ireland, Eamon Ryan, said of the initiative:

This project is another example of European vision and ambition in energy policy. It is a huge step towards meeting our common renewable energy goals and in guaranteeing a low carbon future.

Irish wind farms will be able to connect directly to Europe, not only securing our energy supply but allowing us to sell the electricity produced on a wider market.

It makes economic, as well as environmental sense. By working together, all of the countries involved will reap the benefits.”

—Minister Eamon Ryan, speaking at the Energy Council.[7]


A techno-economic study into the North Sea Offshore Grid, has been set up within the European Union's Intelligent Energy Europe programme, to consider the technical, economic, policy and regulatory aspects of the possible grid, focused on the North Sea and Baltic region.[8]


Friends of the Supergrid, a group of companies and organisations interested in promoting the concept and influencing the development of a super grid within Europe, has taken an interest in the North Sea Grid proposals.[9][10] The organisation has proposed that Phase I of the supergrid should integrate the UK's North Sea renewables with interconnections to Germany and Norway.[11]

See also


  1. ^ (PDF) Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Second Strategic Energy Review: an EU energy security and solidarity action plan {SEC(2008) 2870} {SEC(2008) 2871} {SEC(2008) 2872}. European Commission. November 2008. pp. 4–6. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Signature of The North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, Brussels" (PDF) (Press release). Council of the European Union. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  3. ^ Department of Energy and Climate Change (2009-12-07). "UK Joins The North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative For Wind Technology". Policy Dialogue Media Group International, INC.. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  4. ^ Jan De Decker, Achim Woyte. 4 offshore grid scenarios for the North and Baltic Sea, July 2010. Retrieved: 24 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Nine countries sign up to develop Europe's first offshore wind grid". Science Business. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  6. ^ Gibbs, Walter (2010-08-17). "Norway hydro can aid Europe move to renewables-IEA". Fox Business (FOX News Network). Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  7. ^ "Ireland and eight European countries agree on North Seas Wind Project" (Press release). Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  8. ^ OffshoreGrid, published 2011, accessed 2011-10-03
  9. ^ Friends of the Supergrid, European Energy Forum, accessed 2011-10-03
  10. ^ Friends of the Supergrid - Official site accessed 2011-10-03
  11. ^ A European Supergrid Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, published September 2011, accessed 2011-10-03

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