European concerted action on offshore wind energy deployment: inventory and analysis of power transmission barriers in eight member states



The European Concerted Action for Offshore Wind Energy Deployment (COD) was carried out by eight sea-bordering European Union member states, with the objective to remove not explicitly technical barriers to offshore wind energy. Within the COD, an inventory of relevant aspects affecting the grid integration of offshore wind energy on a large scale in the eight countries has been made. Collected data items for this inventory are national plans and prospects for offshore wind energy, information about the transmission system, possibilities for grid connection, aspects of the grid codes, balancing, connection and energy pricing. The comprehensive COD reports were published and presented in October 2005 during the Copenhagen Offshore wind conference. This paper provides a short description of the situation for each country. Thereafter, country-specific information is grouped based on geography and membership in a synchronous zone. Additionally, a view is developed on the desirable facilities for the trans-European exchange of power from large wind farms. Finally, we elaborate overall conclusions in order to arrive at generalized observations, recommendations for policy makers and issues that will emerge in the near future. As a general conclusion, many things need to be done on a technical level in order to integrate large amounts of offshore wind power into our power systems. However, none of these measures is technically unknown. Therefore, the feasibility of integrating large amounts of offshore wind power is mainly a question of finance and hence based on political decisions. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.