The integrated offshore grid in Europe: Exploring challenges for regional energy governance

João Gorenstein Dedecca*, Rudi A. Hakvoort, Paulien M. Herder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


The deployment of offshore wind and power transmission in the European North Sea is accelerating. Stakeholders advocate regional governance for the European grid expansion, which may evolve into a pan-European governance and is key to developing integrated, hybrid offshore projects. However, such projects are still scarce. We thus analyze the governance of the North Sea offshore grid expansion using the dimensions of level, implementation obligation, and implementation discretion. Our exploratory approach identifies five challenges. The challenges relate to 1) the interaction of the European and regional levels; 2) the interaction of the national and regional levels; 3) the participation of non-European Union countries; 4) the dependence of regional planning on national development plans, which consider national interests; and 5) the interaction of cost allocation and European financing for Projects of Common Interest. The recent Clean Energy Package proposal extensively reforms the regulation of the European power system. The Package is part of the Energy Union strategy and focuses on the energy and climate policies’ governance and the power system operation. Thus, regional governance of offshore expansion is largely unaltered, and our identified challenges remain unaddressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Expansion planning
  • Governance
  • Offshore grid
  • Regional cooperation


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