The North Sea Summit II follows in the footsteps of the first edition of the North Sea Summit held in May 2022 in Esbjerg, Denmark. At the time, the consequences of the war in Ukraine were beginning to be felt in the energy market. Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands came together to form the "North Sea Coalition" and to coordinate their actions to combat dependence on gas and fossil fuels.
The choice for Esbjerg was no accident, since the coastal town is known all over the world as a centre of excellence for the offshore industry.
This first edition of the North Sea Summit resulted in a declaration formalizing the ambition of the four founding countries to quadruple their combined offshore power generation capacity to 150 GW by 2050 (150 GW is the annual electricity consumption of 150 million European households). Such commitments will make the North Sea the largest sustainable energy plant in Europe.
To achieve this, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands committed in Esbjerg to collaborate and connect their wind farms as much as possible.
The second North Sea Summit will take place in the heart of the Port of Ostend. In addition to the founding countries of Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, the North Sea Summit II in Ostend will also bring together France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway and Luxembourg. This is the largest ever coalition around energy in the North Sea.
This Summit’s ambition is high: further expand the collective ambition to harness the full energy and industrial potential of the North Sea and make it the largest powerhouse of Europe by 2050. In total, our countries have more than 175,000 kilometres of coastline.
Beyond the challenge of multiplying this production by including the efforts of the France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway to the objectives set in Esbjerg, the other issue of the North Sea Summit II will be the transmission of this electricity. We need to make sure that this power arrives safely at our shores, i.e. on the continent and in the homes of Europeans. And ensure that all our fellow citizens, from Biarritz to Tromso via London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Berlin and Copenhagen benefit from this initiative.
As in Esbjerg, the North Sea Summit II will bring together the Heads of State and Government of the countries present, their Energy Ministers, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and a delegation of some 100 business leaders and industrial players from the energy sector and our countries.
This makes the summit an example of geopolitical resilience but also a springboard for our industry, for European innovation.
The offshore industry today weighs thousands of jobs in Europe. The commitments made in Esbjerg and Ostend will only strengthen the opportunities to create additional thousands of them.
A final, critical subject at the agenda in Ostend: the question of the safety and security of our offshore energy infrastructure, our offshore wind farms and the cables that connect them.