EU offshore wind strategy plans for 60GW production by 2030

20 Nov 2020

Image: © pkawasaki/

This week in future tech, the EU published a strategy that will aim to have the continent powered by at least 60GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

The EU has big plans for offshore wind energy with the publication of a new strategy. Simply called the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy, it proposed that the continent’s offshore wind capacity should be increased from 12GW today to at least 60GW by 2030 and 300GW by 2050.

The EU sees this being tied into an additional 40GW generated through ocean energy, floating wind turbines and solar power by 2050. It estimates that almost €800bn will be needed to fund such an initiative between now and 2050 and will be built on cross-border cooperation between member states. Coastal states, including Ireland, have been set the task of submitting plans for offshore wind production to the EU by 2021.

“With our vast sea basins and industrial leadership, the EU has all that it needs to rise up to the challenge,” said Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal.

The strategy was also welcomed by Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe who said: “The message from the ocean energy sector is clear: we are more than ready for this.”

Irish drone mapping project secures €250,000

An Irish team, including ProvEye, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out, has secured €250,000 in European funding to develop a new way to map and monitor threatened habitats, using drones and machine learning.

The drones will survey natural habitats and help meet the need for high-quality maps of these locations to estimate the potential impact caused by human activities. The EU requires member states, including Ireland, to periodically produce maps for the status of threatened habitats in Europe.

This project aims to propose and analyse the power of novel machine learning-based models for mapping several protected habitats in Ireland. ProvEye has been tasked with providing the image analysis in conjunction with the drone footage. The project will also include machine learning experts from CeADAR, Ireland’s national centre for applied AI.

“The research will be focused on the development of habitat-mapping models based on deep learning, which is a subset of machine learning, inspired by how information is processed in biological systems,” said Dr Oisín Boydell, principal data scientist at CeADAR. “The success of deep learning in other domains, such as speech recognition and medical imaging, has motivated the remote sensing community to apply it to image classification problems.”

UK plans to create ‘hydrogen village’

As part of a 10-point plan for sustainable industry, UK prime minister Boris Johnson revealed a number of objectives touching on hydrogen fuel production. The government plans to add 5GW of renewable-sourced hydrogen production by 2030.

The £500m investment will look to gradually create more hydrogen-powered homes, beginning with a ‘hydrogen neighbourhood’ by 2023 and a ‘hydrogen village’ by 2025. The prime minister also announced that the ban on new petrol and diesel cars would be brought forward by a decade to 2030.

Responding to the news, chief executive of the Energy and Utilities Alliance, Mike Foster, said: “The measures that the Prime Minister has outlined to support hydrogen are a significant move towards creating a stable hydrogen economy in the UK.

“The plans to create a hydrogen town will give investors confidence and a clear sense of direction.”

5G consumer market to be worth $31trn by 2030

Ericsson has published its 5G Consumer Potential report, estimating that the 5G consumer market could be worth $31trn by the start of the next decade. Of that figure, service providers could earn $3.7trn and that they could generate up to $131bn from digital services revenue alone.

About 40pc of these revenue projections are attributed to consumer spending on enhanced video, augmented reality, virtual reality and cloud gaming over 5G networks. The report also examined the potential financial impact on 5G spending by consumers as a result of Covid-19.

It found that while the average consumer was willing to spend a 20pc premium on a 5G subscription in early 2019, this figure has now dropped to 10pc.

“It is clear that 5G will drive enormous opportunities for communications service providers (CSPs) in consumer business over the decade,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of ConsumerLab at Ericsson Research.

“As this journey is already underway, those CSPs that quickly and proactively evolve their consumer propositions are likely to be bigger winners.”

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic