Denmark Moves Forward with Energy Islands

The Danish government has identified areas in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea suitable for the development of the energy island projects.

Back in June, Denmark approved the development of the two energy islands, one in the North Sea and one in the Baltic Sea, with a combined capacity of 5 GW. Both energy islands must be connected to other countries’ grids and be completed by 2030.

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The parties behind the country’s climate agreement have now selected an area some 20 kilometres south and southwest of the Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea for the development of wind farms with a combined capacity of 2 GW.

The location of the wind farms off the Bornholm island. Source: Ministry of Climate, Energy and Public Utilities

In the North Sea, the feasibility studies will now start to examine the possibility of building an artificial island and wind farms with an initial capacity of 3 GW in an area located at least 60 kilometres west of Thorsminde on Denmark’s west coast.

The final decision on the location of the energy island and the offshore wind farms in the North Sea will take place no later than the spring of 2021, according to Denmark’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Public Utilities.

The area in the North Sea for which the feasibility studies will be carried out. Source: Ministry of Climate, Energy and Public Utilities

The Danish Energy Agency and Energinet will now begin preparations for the detailed studies of the seabed and the impact of the islands and offshore wind turbines on the environment. The studies are expected to be completed in 2024.

Prior to that, the government had issued an offshore wind map identifying the zones where the wind farms which would be connected to the energy islands could be developed.

“We are now entering a new era in the Danish wind adventure, and I would like to thank the other parties in the agreement for a good collaboration on the location of the world’s first two energy islands,” said Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy and Public Utilities Dan Jørgensen.

”The energy islands will help to increase the amount of renewable energy significantly, and at the same time we will make it possible to transform the green power into fuels for heavy transport both on land, at sea and in the air. In other words, the energy islands supply the green electricity, which is the prerequisite for the climate-neutral Denmark and Europe of the future.”

In total, Denmark plans to add up to 7.2 GW of offshore wind capacity between 2027 and 2030. This includes the development of the 1 GW Thor project in the North Sea and the Hesselø project in the Baltic Sea with a capacity of up to 1.2 GW.

The energy island in the North Sea will start at the capacity of 3 GW and will later be expanded to at least 10 GW as electricity consumption increases, the government said.

Photo: Ørsted/Illustration