The North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative was a regional cooperation of 10 countries to facilitate the coordinated development of a possible offshore electricity grid in the greater North Sea area. It seeks to maximize the efficient and economic use of the renewable energy resources as well as infrastructure investments. This cooperation, formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding in 2010 , following a Political Declaration in 2009, is supported by the energy ministries, the regulators and transmission system operators of the 10 participating countries, and the European Commission. Since 2016, the cooperation has been integrated into the new Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries.
Questions this practice may help answer
- How can we evaluate and facilitate coordinated development of a possible offshore grid that maximises the efficiency and economic use of those renewable sources and infrastructure investments?
- How can the North Sea transition to a sustainable low-carbon economy while maintaining security of energy supply in a cost-efficient way?
- What is the strategic importance of present and future on- and offshore infrastructure developments for security of supply and development of renewable energy sources, as well as the integration of national electricity markets?
- How can barriers to grid development be identified and tackled at national, regional and EU-level (in particular regulatory, legal, market, planning, authorisation and technical issues)?
Aspects / Objectives
Main Objective: to maximize the efficient and economic use of renewable energy resources as well as infrastructure investments. In order to achieve the renewable targets of 2020, the North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid initiative (NSCOGI) was formed as the responsible body to evaluate and facilitate the coordinated development of a possible offshore grid that maximizes the efficient and economic use of those renewable sources and infrastructure investments.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 3 December 2010 by the 10 countries around the North Seas represented by their energy ministries, supported by their Transmission System Operators (TSOs, organized in the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity ENTSO-E), their regulators (organized in the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ACER) and the European Commission together forming the NSCOGI.
Three working groups were created by the MoU in order to take the overarching objective into a set of deliverable to be taken forward:
WG1 - Grid configuration
WG2 – Regulatory Issues
WG3 – Planning and Permitting
Each working group is chaired by representatives of two countries' energy ministries and coordinated by a programme board.
Fig. 1. NSCOGI Structure (figure taken from http://www.benelux.int/nl/kernthemas/holder/energie/nscogi-2012-report/)
main Outputs / Results
- Political declaration on the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative (2009)
- NSCOGI - Memorandum of Understanding (2010)
- Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries (2015)
- NSCOGI Conference (2015) - Offshore wind_ Integrating the energy of the future. Powering the framework for the North Sea energy hub. Powerpoint presentations of the conference available here
NSCOGI POLICY REPORTS
NSCOGI WORKING GROUPS REPORTS
- Market arrangements (31 July 2014)
- Cost allocation (31 July 2014)
- North Seas Grid Study (16 November 2012)
- Market arrangements under the virtual case study (8 November 2012)
- Offshore Technology Report (16 October 2012)
- Regulatory benchmark ( 13 January 2012)
- Recommendations for guiding principles for the development of integrated offshore cross-border infrastructure (23 November 2012)
- Procedural guidelines as a recommendation to national competent authorities (21 November 2012)
All final reports and reports from the NSCOGI working groups are available through the ENTSO-E TYNDP Dataset (https://docstore.entsoe.eu/stum/). Although the initiative is targeted to the characteristics of the North Sea region exclusively, other sea basins may find the reports useful when considering their own sea basin cooperation on energy. The findings have furthermore been used for the activities in the Political Declaration on energy cooperation between the North Seas Countries, which started in 2016 and incorporated the NSCOGI into its framework.
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Costs / Funding Source