The North Sea is the new area where the energy transition will take place the coming decades. Oil and Gas production is in decline, and infrastructure will be removed after the production has stopped unless other use for the wells, platforms, pipelines and empty fields can be found. Offshore wind is expanding rapidly, and in the extreme scenarios might cover up to 20% of the marine space in the North Sea by the second half of this century. Furthermore, there are plans for large scale CO2 storage in empty gas field, and potentially also for hydrogen production offshore. Even a new energy island may arise in a few decades to transport and potentially convert much of the energy produced offshore to the markets onshore.

But are we using the North Sea as the solution to our energy transition challenges because we not prepared to use our backyards onshore? And are we creating new challenges by interfering with the traditional functions of the North Sea, such as fishery, shipping, recreation, nature protection? Is it possible to create a new energy system in the North Sea in balance with food production, nature protection and other economic functions?