Accelerating deployment of large-scale offshore wind power

Part of Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.

Investigating the technical and business potential of installing a 30 GW wind power hub in the North Sea

What is the aim of this project?

The North Sea Wind Power Hub project aims to investigate the technical and business potential of installing a 30 GW wind power hub in the North Sea. The consortium’s aim is to facilitate the large-scale roll-out and integration of North Sea offshore wind power at least cost to society while maintaining security of supply, as part of North Sea countries’ urgent and massive transition to low-carbon energy.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

The hub-and-spoke concept behind this project is a way of integrating large shares of offshore wind energy into the wider regional energy system, step by step. Wind power will be collected by offshore transmission hubs and brought to shore via high-capacity export cables. These cables will be connected in a smart and co-ordinated manner to onshore grids at locations with minimal impact on existing grid capacity.  

What is the value of this project for society?

  • enables cost-effective and timely increases in offshore wind energy
  • provides flexibility to adapt each project to location-specific needs
  • maximises offshore wind integration by using interconnections and sector coupling

At what stage of development is this project?

The project began in 2017 and released its first findings in February 2019. Results suggest that the proposed concept is technically feasible. A gradual roll-out of 10 GW to 15 GW hubs is the next logical step towards large-scale offshore wind farm construction. A first hub-and-spoke project could be operating in the 2030s.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • specifying post-2030 renewable energy targets
  • co-ordinating international planning of North Sea wind power
  • adapting regulatory frameworks to support integrated energy infrastructure development
  • initiating structured stakeholder dialogue to obtain consensus on required market designs

In hybrid projects, as the Hub-and-Spoke project, offshore wind grid connection and interconnection are combined. In the future, offshore load in the form of “power-to-x” (P2X) solutions – which convert renewable energy to gaseous energy carriers – can be added to the hubs and connected to the offshore gas grid. Courtesy of the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium.

Partners and funders


  • TenneT
  • Gasunie
  • Energinet


An industrial driven and initiatied project

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About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP)

Created in 1990, the AFC TCP seeks to make a significant contribution to address the opportunities and barriers to fuel cell commercialisation by fostering the development of fuel cell technologies and their application on an international basis, and conveying key messages to policy makers and the wider community as appropriate.