Denmark has reached a landmark agreement on the construction of an energy hub in the North Sea.
The energy hub will be an artificially constructed island 80 kilometers from the shore of the peninsula Jutland. Around 200 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 3 GW are expected to be installed in the first phase of the project.
When fully developed, the North Sea energy island hub will reach a capacity of 10 GW.
The hub will produce yet unseen amounts of green electricity and is one of the government’s flagship projects for the green transition in Europe. Fully implemented it will be able to cover the consumption of 10 million European households, the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities said.
”This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition. This decision marks the start of a new era of sustainable energy production in Denmark and the world and it links very ambitious climate goals with growth and green jobs. The energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history. It will make a big contribution to the realization of the enormous potential for European offshore wind, and I am excited for our future collaboration with other European countries,” said the Danish Minister for Climate, Dan Jørgensen.
The energy hub will serve as an offshore power plant gathering and distributing electricity from hundreds of wind turbines surrounding the island directly to consumers in countries surrounding the North Sea.
The island is expected to have a total area of at least 120,000 square metres, and in its first phase it will be able to provide three million European households with energy.
The project will be a public-private partnership between the Danish state and private companies. Denmark will own the majority of the island, but private companies will be crucial for the project to fulfill the potential with regards to innovation, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and business potentials, the Ministry said.
“We are at the dawn of a new era for energy. Last year, Denmark set a cutoff date for fossil fuel extraction. Today we are taking a decisive step toward a clean energy future. The EU has set a goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and the Commission has set a target of 300 GW offshore wind energy in order to attain this goal. By constructing the world’s first energy hub with a potential capacity of 10 GW, Denmark significantly contributes to this ambitious target. Not only by dramatically expanding renewable energy production, but also by supplying our European neighbors with an abundance of renewable energy,” Minister Jørgensen said.
The artificial island will offer the best opportunities to expand the project, for example by building a harbor and facilities for storage and conversion of electricity from the nearby wind turbines in the sea. It is the long-term ambition to be able to store green electricity on the island, convert it to liquid green fuel, and send it via subsea cables to Denmark and neighboring countries.
Details about the ownership of the island will be specified in order for a tender for private partnerships to be opened, making the island a reality as soon as possible, the Ministry said.
The Energy Islands
A broad coalition of Danish parties has decided to establish two energy hubs and associated offshore wind farms, one as an artificial island in the North Sea and one at the Danish island Bornholm.
The two hubs’ initial capacity will be 5 GW, triple the current installed offshore capacity in Denmark. Later they will be expanded to provide a capacity of 12 GW in total.