European Union's offshore action plan announced at Offshore Wind 2007 conference

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A European action plan on offshore wind will be published next year, according to Alfonso Gonzalez Finat, an official from the European Commission. He made the announcement at the Offshore Wind 2007 conference hosted by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in Berlin last month. The plan will embrace technology, financing, grid connection, resource planning and Europe's capability to deliver. Karen Veum, also from the Commission, added that a study to look at the risks and barriers to offshore wind was already under way. "We need to map the potential for offshore development in Europe and the actions that are needed at different levels to increase deployment," she said. EWEA estimates that between 20-40 GW of offshore wind power can be achieved by 2020, the final figure dependent on which policies are put in place and how fast they are acted upon. The estimate will help as a starting point for work on the action plan, said Veum, adding that the Commission would also be looking for additional input from the industry. The action plan is among a number of recommendations by EWEA in its new policy document "Delivering Offshore Wind Power in Europe." As a necessary first step, the plan should be ready before 2009 so that it can be adopted during the Swedish presidency of the EU, says EWEA.

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