Speaking at the Scottish Government's publication of a study into an offshore grid, Alex Salmond said it would examine the technical, economic, social and financial feasibility of such a scheme.
The move is backed by the publication of the European Commission strategic energy review, which identifies a North Sea offshore grid as an infrastructure priority.
"Never before have we been so well placed to become the green energy capital of Europe," said Salmond. "I am delighted that our clear strengths and massive potential for renewable energy have been recognised as contributing to European energy security." He also welcomed the commission's proposals to develop carbon capture and storage in the North Sea.
Also last week, the Scottish Government released a report estimating that energy demand could fall by between four and six per cent between 2005 and 2020. It goes on to predict that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions could decline by between 13 and 18 per cent over the same period.
The reports are available at PlanningResource.co.uk/doc.