By John Ensor •
Published: 04 Nov 2023 • 13:53
A new Partnership between the UK and Germany has been set out in order to boost renewable energy, strengthen energy security and pave the way for net zero emissions.
On Friday, November 3, the governments of both the UK and Germany signed a pivotal agreement aimed at reinforcing long-term, sustainable and secure energy supplies for their citizens. This strategic accord was formalised in London by the UK’s Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho and Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Robert Habeck.
The newly agreed partnership underscores a mutual resolve to pursue the net zero goal and advance the energy transition. The two leading European economies are intensifying their pledges under the Paris Agreement to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees.
The two nations have committed to an enhanced collaboration in the field of renewables, with a keen focus on offshore wind and power interconnectivity. By dismantling regulatory obstacles, the agreement aims to speed up the implementation of offshore hybrid initiatives.
‘The UK and Germany agree on the importance of clean, affordable energy and we both recognise its crucial role in growing our economies and guaranteeing national and global energy security,’ stated Claire Coutinho.
An exchange of industry know-how is at the forefront, aiming to enhance carbon capture, utilisation, and storage techniques. This includes cross-border CO2 transportation. The partnership also fortifies regional and global energy security with talks on winter preparedness and the robustness of infrastructure and supply chains.
Both countries have agreed to exchange best practices and insights into industrial, building and heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency, and strategies to reach net zero. Vice Chancellor Habeck remarked, ‘Germany and the UK face similar challenges… Cooperation with reliable partners can help all partners to advance not only faster, but better. We can learn from each other’s experiences, share knowledge and work together to reach our common goals, he added.’
This partnership builds upon the UK-Germany hydrogen accord signed previously, which seeks to accelerate the integration of low carbon hydrogen, particularly from renewable resources, into their energy resources. The aim is to foster the development of a global hydrogen economy.
Germany stands as the UK’s second-largest trading ally, representing eight per cent of the UK’s total trade. Collaboration between British and German enterprises is already evident in joint North Sea projects. These initiatives support the UK’s ambition for 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW from floating wind farms, while Germany also targets 30GW by 2030.
The £2.4 billion NeuConnect initiative, marking the first subsea electrical connection between the UK and Germany, has reached a construction milestone. Scheduled for completion in 2028, it is poised to supply up to 1.5 million homes with sustainable energy.
‘When completed, it will be the second longest UK electricity power line with approximately 725 km of land and subsea cables, connecting Kent and Wilhelmshaven,’ the press report concluded. Additionally, another interconnector project awaits the regulatory green light from Ofgem.
Beverley Cornaby, Director, Policy and Systems Change Collaborations, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) highlighted the significance of the alliance: ‘Clean power generation is front-and-centre of the UK’s strategy to reach net zero by 2050.
‘This partnership will support these aims by providing a blueprint on energy and climate between Europe’s 2 largest economies – helping the UK and Germany to bolster cooperation, remove regulatory barriers on renewables and share knowledge on industrial decarbonisation.’
The ‘Joint Declaration of Cooperation on Energy and Climate’ is a commitment between the UK and Germany to combat climate change and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 for the UK and by 2045 for Germany. This collaboration aligns with their commitments under international agreements such as the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement, and the Glasgow Climate Pact.
Five main pillars of cooperation are outlined: hydrogen, renewable energy (including offshore wind and electricity interconnection), carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), energy security, and net zero and green transition strategies (covering a broad range of sectors from industrial decarbonization to zero emissions vehicles).
Under the hydrogen pillar, the UK and Germany will focus on developing the hydrogen economy, promoting renewable hydrogen, and fostering trade and investment. A separate Joint Declaration of Intent has been signed to establish a UK-Germany Hydrogen Partnership.
In the field of renewable energy, particularly in the North Seas, the countries will enhance dialogue, support the roll-out of renewables like offshore wind, and work together in the North Seas Energy Cooperation to develop energy infrastructure and market arrangements.
Cooperation on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) involves examining cross-border CO2 transport, sharing knowledge, and encouraging industry cooperation.
Energy security will be bolstered through bilateral dialogues and technical discussions, with the aim to ensure diverse and secure energy supplies. The countries will continue to coordinate efforts to promote global energy security and accelerate the transition to clean energy.
The green transition and net zero strategies will involve sharing overarching policies, best practices, and lessons on a range of topics such as green finance, decarbonizing transport, and creating comprehensive charging infrastructure for zero emission vehicles. They will also exchange knowledge on policies for decarbonizing buildings and increasing energy efficiency.
The UK and Germany commit to leading the global energy transition and sectoral decarbonization in international forums like the G7 and G20, the IEA, and IRENA, among others. They reaffirm their G7 commitments to phasing out unabated fossil fuels and ending international public support for the fossil fuel energy sector in favour of clean energy, consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit.
Monitoring of the partnership will be integrated into existing structures like the UK-Germany Climate Dialogue, which aligns the countries’ efforts in international climate discussions. This includes scaling up mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, and addressing loss and damage.
Finally, the declaration sets up a Strategic Working Group at the senior official level to oversee the partnership, with the responsibility of recommending changes and setting annual priorities. The group is tasked to meet at least once a year to ensure the delivery of the cooperative efforts.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.