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North Seas Countries agree on data sharing using EMODnet for closer energy cooperation

13 April 2017

North Seas region countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) have agreed in June 2016 to further strengthen their energy cooperation. Their aim is to create good conditions for the development of offshore wind energy in order to ensure a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply in the North Seas countries.

A political declaration and action plan has been signed by their Ministers, the Vice-President for Energy Union, and the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. Energy cooperation between the countries will focus on four main areas:

- Spatial planning will aim at optimising the use of limited space in this intensively used sea. This will include data sharing, finding common approaches to environmental impacts, and the coordination of permitting procedures.

- The electricity grid has to be developed so that it is able to accommodate large scale offshore wind energy. This will include coordinated grid planning and development, but also exploring potential synergies with the offshore oil and gas sectors.

- In future participating countries will share information about their individual offshore infrastructure needs.

- The aim is to identify best practices and ways to harmonise technical rules and standards across the region.

Data sharing is considered as a very important element in its implementation and therefore the specific implementation plan for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) recommends strongly to make use of EMODnet standards and infrastructure to support data sharing.

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