Europe's governments have agreed to the EU Commission's proposal to publish a "blueprint" for an offshore power grid. The EU Energy Council, made up of energy ministers from the 27 member countries, endorsed work on a North Sea and north-west Europe grid among a number of priority infrastructure actions. In its November Strategic Energy Review, the Commission unveiled plans for a subsea power network to connect countries around the North Sea and hook up offshore wind farms. It was one of six infrastructure projects for strengthening the security of Europe's gas and electricity supplies (page 36). The Commission envisages an offshore grid as one of the building blocks of a fully interconnected trans-European electricity network. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) says integrating offshore wind into the electricity network is key to the EU meeting its 20% renewables target for 2020. "The Energy Council also agreed to push for a co-ordinated approach between the Commission and member states to support cost-effective large-scale deployment of offshore wind while preserving the reliability of the grid.
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