The Horns Rev 1 offshore wind farm

Denmark to Auction Off 9 GW of Offshore Wind in 2023

Denmark plans to put 9 GW of new offshore wind capacity out to tender by the end of the year in an effort to increase its offshore wind capacity fivefold by 2030, according to the country’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities.

Illustration; The Horns Rev 1 offshore wind farm. Source: Vattenfall

The government and the authorities are working to ensure that there is a quick clarification on whether offshore wind turbine projects and other renewable energy projects under the open door scheme are in breach of EU law, the Ministry said.

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However, parallel to the dialogue with the EU Commission, Denmark’s Climate, Energy and Utilities Minister Lars Aagaard has announced that he will start putting 9 GW of offshore wind out to tender this year via state tenders.

“It is my ambition that the tender process can be started in 2023, which of course assumes that the process with the conciliation circle enables the ambitious schedule,” Minister Aagaard said.

New Capacity to be Operational by 2030

The turbines from the 9 GW of offshore wind will be able to produce green electricity equivalent to covering the annual electricity consumption of more than nine million Danish and European households. The power can also go to Danish PtX projects.

”We must have a quick clarification on the open door applications, and that is our top priority here and now. The situation is untenable for the actors, and therefore there is a dialogue with the EU Commission at all levels. But in addition to that, we must also look at what we can do to increase the expansion of offshore wind via government tenders,” Aagaard said.

”That is why I will call for negotiations next month on the framework for us to start putting the construction of 9 GW of offshore wind out to tender this year. It can increase our capacity of offshore wind fivefold, and the ambition is for the turbines to be spinning by 2030 at the latest.”

The 9 GW of offshore wind originates from, among other things, the Climate Agreement on green electricity and heat from June 2022 and was concluded by a broad majority in the Danish Parliament before the general election. These are offshore wind turbine projects that must be sent to government tenders, and therefore have nothing to do with the projects that have applied under the open door scheme.

The 9 GW capacity that the government will start putting out to tender this year includes, among others, the Bornholm Energy Island, Hesselø, and a further 5 GW offshore wind projects.

”Overplanting” and Going Beyond 9 GW

The Ministry said that the Danish government is currently analyzing how to give the developers of offshore wind projects via state tenders increased freedom to set up more offshore wind on the tendered locations at sea than what has been agreed so far in the climate agreement and other political agreements. This ”overplanting” option could potentially increase the capacity considerably above 9 GW, the Ministry said.

”The government will spend the next few weeks leading up to the negotiations investigating whether and how we should give the installers more freedom to build as much offshore wind as possible on the areas we have already designated. This could potentially mean that there will be significantly more offshore wind than the agreed 9 GW,” Aagaard said.

The selected locations for the government tenders do not overlap with the areas to which market players have applied for access under the open door scheme.

”In addition to negotiating the 9 GW of offshore wind, we also have to decide in the spring how the energy island in the North Sea is to be put out to tender. So although I am very aware that the situation with the open-door applications here and now creates uncertainty for the actors, the signal from this is that the government is focused on securing more new offshore wind as soon as possible,” said Aagaard.

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