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Priorities in the North Sea Grid debate

This report, published in March 2012, analyses the North Sea Grid debate in view of developing a strategy in this field for philanthropic organisations committed to climate protection and to the transition to renewables. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to implement one of the priorities identified in this paper: see the Joint Norwegian-German Declaration for a long-term collaboration to promote renewables and climate protection.

Summary: A North Sea Grid (NSG) is a means to two functions: connection of offshore renewable generation, and interconnection between the power systems of the countries surrounding the North Sea. As a political concept, the NSG is used with changing meanings. This openness may have contributed to the broad acceptance of the concept, but the vagueness may confuse the debate on its implementation. The paper analyses the prospects for offshore wind, for bilateral interconnections, and for the vision of a meshed offshore grid. Thereby, it outlines a good balance between the different functions and technological options in the NSG debate.