On Friday, November 3, 2023, the governments of the UK and Germany announced a new partnership aimed at ensuring the long-term availability of safe, affordable and clean energy for their citizens, while also enhancing energy security. The partnership was officially established in London and reaffirms the commitment of both countries to achieving net-zero emissions and advancing the global energy transition. Moreover, the 2 largest economies in Europe have renewed their commitment to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Under this energy and climate partnership, the UK and Germany have pledged to work together in several key areas. The partnership will promote the exchange of industry knowledge and expertise to improve carbon capture, utilisation and storage, including cross-border transport of CO2. It also encompasses efforts to strengthen regional and global energy security, which includes discussions on winter preparedness, infrastructure security and supply chain resilience. Furthermore, the two nations will share best practices and lessons learned related to industrial, buildings and heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency and net-zero policies and strategies.
Claire Coutinho, the Energy Security Secretary, emphasised the importance of clean, affordable energy for both the UK and Germany. She highlighted the role of such energy in economic growth and national and global energy security. The UK and Germany have already been collaborating in the North Sea to realise their ambitious offshore wind projects and interconnection through subsea electricity cables. This newly established agreement will expand and deepen their partnership to ensure they remain leaders in the transition to green energy solutions.
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Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, acknowledged that both countries face similar challenges on the path to climate neutrality. He stressed the value of cooperation with reliable partners to accelerate progress and share knowledge and experiences. Habeck noted that the joint declaration builds upon a longstanding history of cooperation and provides a solid framework for future collaboration.
The energy and climate partnership encompasses the UK-Germany hydrogen partnership, signed in September, with the goal of advancing low carbon hydrogen usage, particularly from renewable sources, in both countries’ energy portfolios. This partnership also commits to working together to develop the global hydrogen economy – discover more regarding hydrogen with the REI’s Hydrogen Energy Consultant Expert Certificate.
Approximately 75% of installed offshore wind capacity in the North Sea is situated in German and British waters. This supports the UK’s ambition to achieve up to 50GW of offshore wind, including up to 5GW of floating offshore wind, by 2030, while Germany is targeting 30GW by 2030.
Furthermore, the first phase of construction of the £2.4 billion NeuConnect project, which is the first subsea electricity cable connecting the UK and Germany, was recently completed. Once operational in 2028, this project has the potential to provide reliable, affordable and clean energy to up to 1.5 million homes in both countries over its lifetime. It will be the second longest UK electricity power line, spanning approximately 725km of land and subsea cables, connecting Kent and Wilhelmshaven. Another interconnector project connecting the UK to Germany is currently in development, pending regulatory approval from Ofgem.