European Commission > Energy > Intelligent Energy Europe

Regulatory Framework for Offshore Grids and Power Markets in Europe: Techno-economic Assessment of Different Design Options (OFFSHOREGRID)

Project brief
Key action: Electricity production
Status: Closed
Coordinator: Dr Jan De Decker
3E nv, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 229 25 28
Partners: European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), Belgium
Germany Energy Agency, Germany
Oldenburg University, Germany
SINTEF Energy Research, Norway
ECBREC Institute for Renewable Energy, Poland
Senergy Econnect Ltd, United Kingdom
Benefits: Science-based view on offshore grid development in West and Northern Europe, blueprints & recommendations for grid topologies and capacity choices. During the entire project, feedback from stakeholders is ensured via interviews, regional workshops, scientific discussions and a advisory board.
Keywords: Offshore wind energy, electricty transmission/ distribution
Duration: 01/05/2009 - 31/10/2011
Budget: EUR 1 386 368 (EU contribution: 75%)
Contract number: IEE/08/780


OffshoreGrid will develop a science-based view on an offshore grid in Northern Europe along with a suited regulatory framework considering technical, economic, policy and regulatory aspects. OffshoreGrid is targeted for European policy makers, industry, transmission system operators and regulators. The geographical scope is first the regions around the Baltic and North Sea, English Channel and the Irish Sea. In a second phase, the results will be applied to the Mediterranean region in qualitative terms. In the preparatory phase, scenarios have been developed as input for the modelling work. Amongst others, these included scenarios for wind power generation, electricity demand and generation, planned grid development, technology developments,etc. The first modelling phase compared the costs and benefits of different offshore grid scenarios, focusing on the evaluation of offshore wind power hubs and on the combination with interconnectors. In the second phase, extra scenarios are calculated to further detail conclusions, and an evaluation will be done of how the overall European offshore grid could look like. In last instance, results are translated to the Mediteranean situation.

  • Detailed offshore wind power scenarios with generation time series for Northern Europe and high-level renewable energy and grid scenarios for the Mediterranean region.
  • Interaction of different design drivers for an offshore grid and the associated costs and interaction of power prices, market design and energy economic parameters in a market comprising the regions around the Baltic and North Sea.
  • The interim report discusses the clustering of wind farms at hubs versus radial connections to the shore, the possibility of teeing in offshore wind farms to planned interconnectors, and the integration of wind farm hubs with interconnectors in meshed grids;
  • The second modelling phase details the results from the first phase, and investigates the design of an overall European offshore grid. Results will be transferred qualitatively to the Mediterranean region. Conclusions and policy recommendations will be elaborated;
  • Acceptance of the results by the main stakeholders including policy makers, transmission system operators (TSOs), regulators, offshore generation developers, other users of the sea. This shall be reflected in several references in EU and national policy, as well as in written acknowledgments from the main target groups.

Lessons learnt
  • During the finalisation phase of the intermediate results, a lot of work has been performed on the assessment of hubs vs radial single wind farm connections regarding 2030. However, since DG ENER also gives a lot of importance to indicators in 2020, an extra effort has been added to finalise the intermediate results. Time and effor would have been saved if both modelling cases (2020 & 2030) had been performed at once.
  • Due to technical lacks of information, a lot of time and effort was needed to the attempts to decode the data manually and to link the information to grid maps available from the separate TSO's. If this had been anticipated during the writing of the proposal, more budget could have been allocated to this work and other solutions could have been sought.

Full Final Report
(PDF, 7321 kB)
Executive Summary
(PDF, 1577 kB)
All downloadable files >
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