Baltic Sea nations agree to increase offshore wind energy to offset reliance of Russian gas


Copenhagen: European countries bordering the Baltic Sea agreed on Tuesday to ramp up offshore wind energy seven-fold by 2030, as Europe seeks to wean itself off Russian gas supplies.

The agreement was signed at the Baltic Sea Summit in Copenhagen, which was hosted by Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and government heads from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. Organizers said the summit’s aim was to strengthen the EU’s independence from Russian gas, improve energy security and boost the Baltic Sea’s offshore energy potential.

“Our dependency on Russian fossil fuels will only be over if we invest massively into renewable energy. And that is why we are here today. So we need clean, we need cheaper and we need home-grown power. We need it big and we need it fast,” von der Leyen said during her opening remarks.

Initial projects announced include a hybrid offshore wind park between Estonia and Latvia, a cross-border district heating grid between Germany and Poland and a project to produce renewable electricity in Italy, Spain and Germany for conversion, transport and use of green hydrogen in the Netherlands and Germany, according to a news release issued by the European Commission.

During a news conference following the summit, the European Commission president also addressed concerns over rising energy prices across Europe.

“The real driver for the increase of electricity prices is somewhere else, that is gas, and mainly Russian gas that has been manipulated by Putin. Putin who uses gas as a weapon and you can see that in the figures,” she said, adding the electricity market is no longer functioning because of Putin “who is systematically trying to destroy it and to manipulate it.”

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