North Seas Energy Cooperation is a regional partnership between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It promotes cost-effective offshore renewable energy development in the North Sea region (North Sea, Kattegat, Skaggerak, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, the English Channel). For specific topics, it forms the basis for offshore energy cooperation with the United Kingdom. The European Commission is a member, and the secretariat is located at Benelux House in Brussels.
The competent ministers and the European Energy Commissioner established this voluntary partnership midway through 2016 with a Political Declaration and a three-year work programme. They renewed it with a new Political Declaration in 2021, shortly after the European Green Deal and the Renewable Offshore Energy strategy.
The co-chairship of the NSEC lies with the European Commission on the one hand (on a permanent basis) and one of the member countries on the other (on a rotating annual basis). Ministers meet regularly to monitor progress and set priorities. Four working groups are in charge of preparing the technical work. Today, the focus is on enabling international offshore wind projects, such as energy islands, hybrid interconnections, and cross-border grid infrastructure. The NSEC is simultaneously looking for ways to limit the spatial and environmental impact of offshore developments, and to reduce costs.
The North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) was a regional cooperation structure between Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK, which promoted the coordinated development of the offshore electricity grid in the North Sea region. Under the impetus of the ministers, with the support of the Benelux secretariat, and drawing on the expertise of representatives from ministries, grid operators, regulators and the European Commission, it developed proposals for more efficient and cost-effective development of offshore renewable energy infrastructure. In 2016, this cooperation merged with the North Sea Energy Cooperation.