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As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission identified the importance of agreeing a new approach for exploiting Europe’s offshore renewable energy potential in a sustainable and inclusive way. The revised Commission Work Programme confirmed that a European offshore renewable energy strategy would be published before the end of 2020, aimed at giving a strategic direction for the ambitious development and integration of this type of energy by 2030 and 2050.

In preparation for this new initiative, the Commission has published a Roadmap outlining the different parts of this process – and has opened a four week period for public feedback on this roadmap.

The Commission has also opened a broader public consultation about different elements that this initiative will cover. The aim is to gather views and input on the concepts from a broad range of stakeholders, ranging from national, regional and local authorities to businesses, unions, civil society organisations, education organisations, consumer groups, research and innovation organisations, as well as individual citizens. The consultation will be open for 10 weeks.

The broad aim of the initiative is to make it easier for the different forms of offshore renewable energy – notably offshore wind, but also tidal and ocean energy – to be developed. Given the potential for creating growth and jobs in the offshore renewables sector, the initiative was identified as crucial for boosting investments and future EU-wide deployment of offshore renewables, as recognised by the EU package for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, building on the “Next Generation EU” instrument.

Several elements will be covered by the initiative aiming at future actions to scale up offshore renewable generation, distribution and use in view of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The scope of the strategy covers all European seas (North Sea, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea) and the Atlantic Ocean.

Feedback on the roadmap is open until 13 August 2020 with feedback on the public consultation is open until 24 September 2020.