14 Nov 2008 05:11:25
North Sea grid important for EU energy security
Developing a blueprint for a North Sea offshore grid is an energy security priority for the EU, according to the European Commission.
The Commission has published its second review under the Energy Security and Solidarity Action plan and recommended steps to increase energy security and sustainability.
Launching the review president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "Energy prices have risen by an average of 15 per cent in the European Union in the last year. 54 per cent of Europe's energy is imported at a cost of 700 (£598) for every EU citizen.
"We have to address this urgently, by taking measures to increase our energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on imports. We have to invest and diversify."
The five point plan takes into account infrastructure, energy relations, fuel stocks, energy efficiency and using indigenous resources.
Among the infrastructure recommendations is the North Sea offshore grid which would connect all the area's wind farms to a central hub.
Scottish first minister Alex Salmond called for the creation of a grid and at the publication of a report into the idea said it had gone from being "blue-sky, or blue-sea thinking" to being considered by EU leaders.