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European summit to spur wind energy production in North Sea

Von der Leyen also attending

24 April, 17:10
(ANSA-AFP) - BRUSSELS, APR 24 - Nine European countries were holding a summit Monday aimed at scaling up wind power generation in the North Sea, spurred by the fallout of the Ukraine war and the push for renewables. Hosted by Belgium in the coastal town of Ostend, the meeting will gather the leaders of EU members France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen also attending. Norway and Britain will participate, too, though French officials said the UK's energy minister would lead the delegation and not Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who could not make it. "We need offshore wind turbines -- and we need a lot of them," the leaders of the countries said in a joint op-ed published in Politico. "We need them to reach our climate goals, and to rid ourselves of Russian gas, ensuring a more secure and independent Europe." The collective goal, they said, was to boost offshore wind power generation to 120 gigawatts by 2030 -- from just 30 GW now -- and at least 300 GW by 2050. The North Sea summit is the second one to be held, after the four countries in the inaugural gathering last year -- Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands -- decided it was necessary to broaden cooperation. They recognised this was "a massive undertaking" requiring "huge investments in infrastructure".

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said ahead of the summit that it would be focused on "speed of execution", notably the standardisation of equipment needed to build the offshore wind farms faster and cheaper. Around 100 bosses of companies in the wind turbine supply chain were also participating in the summit. (ANSA-AFP).

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