Northern Seas as the Power House of Western Europe
20 visionary MEPs (including Sean Kelly MEP) have signed a manifesto calling for the more rapid deployment of offshore grid and wind in the EU Northern Seas (which includes the Irish Sea). The document states in part “We call on decision-makers from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, together with industry, social partners, and the EU Commission, to build on the existing cooperation structures (particularly NSCOGI) and create a new high level political process in order to make Northern Seas regional cooperation a showcase for the Energy Union”.
This is a practical recognition that for the EU to escape its reliance on imported fossil fuels it must construct new sustainable electricity generation and transmission capacity. Offshore wind has been identified as a key part of Energy Union. Ireland, as a country with 85% reliance on fossil fuel imports and a large offshore wind resource, must be careful to grasp the opportunities that this presents. In particular, Ireland should play an active role in NSCOGI.