Last Friday the UK government announced a new partnership with Germany to help secure safe, affordable and clean energy in the long term and bolster energy security between the two nations. Building on an agreement signed in September, which aims to accelerate the role of low carbon hydrogen, the partnership commits the UK & Germany to working together on both nation’s energy mix. With Germany accounting for the UK’s second largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of quarter one in 2023, British & German companies are regularly collaborating on joint projects in the North Sea. 75% of installed offshore wind capacity in the North Sea is found in British and German waters.
The partnership will build on commitments made under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and includes the following core principles:
• Enhanced cooperation on renewable energy including offshore wind and electricity interconnectors, to remove regulatory barriers and progress the deployment of offshore hybrid projects
• Shared industry knowledge and expertise to improve carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies, including a cross-border transport of CO2
• Strengthened regional and global energy security through discussions on winter preparations, infrastructure and supply chains
• Shared practices and lessons on industrial, building and heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency and net-zero
Key Areas for Cooperation:
• Hydrogen- The UK and Germany will deepen their partnership on hydrogen, in particular those from renewable sources, to support the development of regional and global hydrogen markets, advance R&D into hydrogen and promote trade/investment opportunities
• North Sea Renewables- Increase dialogue on energy transition and clean energy in the North Sea, especially offshore hybrid interconnection. The first phase of the £2.4billion NeuConnect project, the first subsea electricity cable between the UK & Germany, was recently completed and by 2028 will have the power to supply 1.5million homes in the two countries. Such projects will facilitate knowledge exchange and cooperation, alongside the North Seas Energy Cooperation forum which develops cross-border market arrangements
• Carbon Capture, Utilisation & Storage- Develop the potential for opportunities regarding cross border transportation, discuss technical developments and encourage industry and stakeholder cooperation
• Energy Security- Recognise the importance for cooperation through bilateral agreements that achieve secure and diverse energy systems for consumers. Technical discussions with transmission system operators should also further the spirit of energy solidarity by promoting energy security, considering decarbonisation pathways that factors every country’s access and affordability to energy supplies and supporting the best and fastest methods to a clean energy transition
• Net-Zero & Green Transition- The UK & Germany will share their overarching net-zero strategies and policy frameworks to help meet the respective goals of net-zero by 2050 and 2045. This will include discussing climate governance arrangements, mechanisms to support the economy, lessons learned, policies, green finance, net-zero skills and supply chain development. Specific emphasis will be placed on enabling domestic decarbonisation strategies and policy, alongside incentivising carbon neutral production and industry stakeholder cooperation. Importance will also be given to accelerating the transition to zero emission vehicles
Delivery & Areas to be Monitored Under the Partnership:
The UK & Germany will launch a Strategic Working Group that will meet once a year to help deliver the partnership, recommend amendments to its scope and decide its priorities.
As like-minded partnerships on the international climate agenda, the UK & Germany are committed to the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate pact whilst ensuring that other nations collectively scale up their ambitions across a critical decade. The fields of science, research and development will also be monitored to ensure innovation in achieving energy security and net-zero commitments.
Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, said that the partnership will ensure that the UK & Germany extend their leadership in Europe and the world in helping to enforce the green transition. Full details of the agreement can be found here: Joint declaration of cooperation on energy and climate – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)