Offshore Renewable Energy: EU and Norway establish North Seas Cooperation with the UK

On Sunday (18 December), the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a framework for their cooperation in the development of offshore renewable energy. The MoU recognises the important role of offshore renewable energy in reaching the EU’s climate and energy targets, as well as the need for cooperation with international partners to accelerate the green transition with the vast offshore renewable energy resources of the North Seas.

The European Commission is a permanent co-President of the NSEC, which is a regional, non-binding EU cooperation framework that aims to boost offshore renewable energy in the North Sea and includes Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden among its members.

The MoU establishes a new relationship between NSEC and the UK, following Brexit. In particular, it implements Article 321 of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which provides that the EU and the UK are to create a specific forum for technical discussions on offshore renewable energy development, building on NSEC.

Welcoming the signature of the agreement, Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said: “The Memorandum signed today provides the NSEC members and the UK with a basis to cooperate on offshore energy. Given the significant potential of offshore renewable energy in the North Seas, this cooperation is crucial to help achieve our joint renewable offshore ambitions. The exchanges will build on the successful work of NSEC.”