The European Union (EU) agreement on guidelines for the trans-European energy infrastructure is a long-awaited breakthrough for the EU energy sector, according to a press release from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The agreement reached between the European Parliament and the EU Council on Nov. 20 includes binding deadlines for building new energy infrastructure set at three years and six months and an agreement to identify priority corridors for infrastructure, in particular the North Sea region's offshore grid and electricity highways.

Justin Wilkes, EWEA's policy director said, “This agreement is very positive. Developing electricity infrastructure is absolutely vital to developing the internal market, improving energy security and integrating large quantities of wind energy. The more than 140 gigawatt of offshore wind power currently being planned by European utilities, developers and governments by 2030 requires a big step forward in offshore grid development. It's now vital that the European Commission's proposal for €9.1 billion for energy infrastructure is maintained during the negotiations on the 2014 to 2020 EU budget.”