UCL Energy Institute


BBC News interviews UCL Energy Institute Director on North Sea offshore wind plans

24 May 2023

UCL Energy Director Prof Catalina Spataru spoke to Christian Fraser on The Context on BBC News, to discuss how investments and infrastructure could support the plan to build the world’s largest green energy plant in the North Sea.

Catalina Spataru on BBC news

The North Sea Summit saw nine heads of government and the president of the EU Commission met in Ostend, Belgium to sign new commitments for offshore wind.

The heads of government of Belgium, Denmark, France, the UK , Ireland, Norway and Luxembourg met to discuss green energy in the North Seas, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish and Celtic Seas, and sign a new agreement to quadruple the size of offshore wind capacity to 150GW by 2025 - currently production is around 30GW.

Commenting on the benefits of wind offshore on the North Seas, Prof Catalina Spataru said:

 No one country around the North Sea can deliver the integrated solution we need. To get the full potential of the North Sea, we need hubs to collect the potential of offshore wind power generated at wind farms and energy islands in the North Sea, connect these hubs in a flexible network which can supply power to millions of consumers with green energy."

Prof Catalina Spataru mentioned that energy markets aren’t designed to cope with sources like renewables which requires significant capita to build but far less than fossil fuels to run. Regarding challenges for uptake of renewables, she mentioned “permitting remains one of the biggest bottlenecks for deploying wind at scale”, as in some countries can take up to nine years or even more to hand out a permit for a single project. "Without faster permits we won’t reach the new renewables target."

Watch the coverage