Denmark and California Extend (Floating) Offshore Wind Cooperation, Add Power-to-X

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have extended their cooperation on offshore wind and energy efficiency which was established back in 2017. The renewed cooperation now involves DEA assisting the Californian authorities with optimising the legislative framework for offshore wind and also covers Power-to-X.

Adobe Stock; Image courtesy of Danish Energy Agency

The main goal of the partnership’s work on the legislative framework is to make the processes manageable and to lower risks for investors. This is crucial for the development of Californian offshore wind projects, which, due to the great depths of the Pacific Ocean, will be using floating wind technology.

The collaboration, detailed under an inter-agency agreement that was now extended, also covers sharing experiences with bringing forward the infrastructure necessary for offshore wind energy, including the development of the electricity grid and the necessary port infrastructure. 

The renewed agreement between Denmark and California also includes joint work on improving the energy efficiency of buildings and energy-intensive industries, which are one of the key areas that should contribute to achieving the state’s goal of CO2 neutrality in 2045.

For the Danish side of the deal, the cooperation opens opportunities for gaining further knowledge on floating wind, the key technology that will be installed to harness wind resources in waters off California, and also offers a potential entry into the market for Danish companies with expertise in offshore wind, Power-to-X, and energy efficiency.

The US is Denmark’s largest export market and the third largest in terms of export of energy technology, according to DEA.

Being one of the world’s largest CO2 emitters, the US has set ambitious climate goals that it plans to achieve with renewable energy and clean fuel projects. Much of the capacities targeted both on the federal and state levels include deploying large-scale offshore wind projects.

The US aims to have 30 GW of offshore wind generation capacity installed by 2030 and 15 GW of floating wind capacity connected to the grid by 2035.

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According to the Danish Energy Agency, Denmark has been cooperating with the US (state) authorities since 2017 to bring Denmark’s experiences with the regulation on offshore wind and energy efficiency into the country’s planned green transition to make it more flexible and to help accelerate it.

In addition, this will also help mature these markets in favour of exporting Danish energy technology and contributing to CO2 reductions, according to DEA which, besides California, also cooperates with the states of Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

As for California, this US state is the first in the country to have held a lease sale for floating wind projects, awarding five lease areas that could bring the state up to 8.1 GW of floating wind capacity.

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Last Summer, the California Energy Commission raised the state’s offshore wind planning goals from the initially set 3 GW to 2-5 GW by 2030, with an aim of having up to 25 GW installed by 2045.

Setting the targets and developing California’s framework and infrastructure to accommodate the deployment of offshore wind are a result of an offshore wind bill which was enacted by the California Governor in September 2021.

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The offshore wind bill (AB 525) directs state agencies to develop a strategic plan for offshore wind resources in California.

The legislation directed the California Energy Commission to create a strategic plan to develop offshore wind projects and to set gigawatt targets for offshore wind production for 2030 and 2045, as well as to map out near-term infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate offshore wind facilities.


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