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EU's Piebalgs says grid infrastructure needed quickly for offshore wind energy

BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) - EU energy commissioner Andris Piebalgs said a maritime grid infrastructure must be developed quickly for the development of offshore wind energy. Speaking at the European Wind Energy Conference here, the commissioner said without the infrastructure no offshore wind farms can be built. 'As it is not yet in place, it must be developed fairly quickly and a central question is how it should be financed.' The commissioner said the European Commission is looking to adopt an offshore wind action plan by the end of this year. He said that although member states have taken efforts to collaborate on offshore development, there is scope for increased cooperation. Piebalgs said the EU could play an important role in facilitating further joint efforts. The commissioner said the creation of the pan-European sub-sea energy grid, SUPERGRID, should help the incorporation of large quantities of offshore wind into the European electricity market. The commission will give funding to a 77 mega watt wind park project to be installed near Estinnes in Belgium, the commissioner said. nina.chestney@thomson.com nc/cmr


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