WindEurope calls for upscaling EU port infrastructure for offshore turbines

WindEurope said €6.5 billion of investment in port infrastructure will be needed by 2030 to deliver the offshore wind expansion set out in the EU’s Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy.

In a new report, WindEurope argued on May 27 Europe’s ports must expand and add new infrastructure. The organization called on the European Commission to develop a Ports Strategy and recognise the societal and ecological value of ports.

Ports are central to offshore wind, WindEurope said, adding that all the turbines and equipment are transported through them. “They’re the base for the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. They’re a magnet for much of the supply chain. And they’ll be a hub for the production and transport of renewable hydrogen from offshore wind,” the report read.

“Europe is embarking on a huge expansion of offshore wind. From 25 GW today to more than 400 GW by 2050. Europe cannot deliver this without investments in port infrastructure. In heavy-loading quaysides, deep berths, supply chain and hydrogen infrastructure – and in that crucial commodity: space,” WindEurope said.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said ports are essential for offshore wind. “They’re a vital part of the supply and logistics chain that’s needed for the installation, assembly, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. We can’t expand offshore without also expanding and upgrading Europe’s port infrastructure” Dickson said.

“With growing volumes of offshore wind, ports are the perfect hubs for green energy. The offshore wind supply chain is often located in or around them. They are then integrated into wider industrial ecosystems,” Dickson said, adding, “That’s why ports will play a key role in the decarbonisation of e.g. chemicals and refineries in coastal industrial clusters – through the renewable energy for which they serve as a hub”.

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