Energy Academy Europe teams up with Energy Valley and parties in Scotland, Norway, Denmark and North Western Germany within the European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) in order to develop a joint approach towards energy issues in the North Sea. Together with ENSEA partners the Energy Academy Europe prepares interdisciplinary research and innovation projects in the field of system integration (energy storage, balancing, energy-infrastructure, social and legal context etc.).

The European North Sea Energy Alliance is a network of research institutes, local governments and private-sector organisations in the Northern Netherlands, Northwest Germany, Scotland, Denmark and Norway. ENSEA aims to increase the competitiveness of regional energy clusters and to tackle the EU 20-20-20 climate and energy goals in the North Sea region. The network is thereby an important vehicle for the increased regional cooperation and interconnectedness that are indispensable to the EU’s energy strategy.

ENSEA’s first project, investigating the challenges, strengths and opportunities of the North Sea region’s energy systems, was completed in September 2015 with a conference in Scotland. Partners intend to continue their cooperation and extend it to incorporate additional partners and full coverage of the North Sea region. The partners have taken the first steps towards a formalised triple helix organisation. Although the EAE
was not part of the initial project, the Academy is now involved alongside Energy Valley in the formalisation process and in the preparation of new projects in this largescale framework.

Several projects are currently prepared under the ENSEA umbrella, among which a PhD training and exchange network led by the EAE under the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme and further research into the green decommissioning of the oil & gas infrastructure in the North Sea. The decommissioning entails repurposing the old pipeline network in the new sustainable energy systems. This is a perfect example of a project in which a system approach is necessary in order to optimise results. Other topics on ENSEA’s list include wind energy, thermal generation and demand-side management from the system integration perspective, and aiming to contribute to climate and energy objectives, as well as to local economic development.

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