The North Sea is one of the busiest seas for maritime industries in the world. Its shared resources represent a crucial asset, but also a shared territorial challenge to North Sea Region (NSR) countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England and Scotland). Various maritime sectors, such as offshore energy, play a major part in generating economic value and employment and are set to expand in line with smart ‘Blue Growth’ objectives. Given the transnational nature of offshore energy activities and the transnational character of most marine ecosystems, facilitating greater transnational coherence and cooperation in marine planning represents a key shared challenge. The European-funded NorthSEE project addresses this challenge directly.
The NorthSEE project promotes a better exchange of information among NSR marine planning authorities and related experts and institutions. The NorthSEE project aims at achieving greater coherence in MSP across the NSR for three topics of transnational nature: environmental aspects, shipping routes, and energy infrastructure. Here, the focus of our presentation will be offshore energy planning provisions, the sustainable development of offshore renewable energies, related offshore grid infrastructure, and relevant transnational marine planning aspects in NSR. We will present an overview of the state-of-the-art of offshore energy planning provisions for the production and transportation of energy in the North Sea, including:
- the existing international MSP institutional framework in the NSR, including past and current experience of transnational energy cooperation between North Sea countries;
- an overview of short- (2020), mid- (2030), and long- (2050) term national and transnational energy planning provisions, including energy objectives, policies, and planning areas; and
- future trends in the offshore energy policy landscape and industry developments across the NSR