Thursday 28.05.2020

Denmark proposes two giant wind energy islands to meet climate targets

Danish government proposed more than tripling its offshore wind capacity.
Middelgrunden offshore wind farm, outside Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Reuters/Andreas Mortensen.
Middelgrunden offshore wind farm, outside Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: Reuters/Andreas Mortensen.

Denmark's government on Wednesday proposed more than tripling its offshore wind capacity by building two energy islands linked to new wind farms in the Baltic and North seas to help meet ambitious climate change targets.

One of the two hubs, which would be the world's first, will be located on the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm and the other on an artificial island in the North Sea. Each will have a capacity of at least 2 GW, enough to power four million of Denmark's 5.8 million homes.

The capacity of the North Sea project, which was first presented last year, could be eventually increased to 10 GW, the finance ministry said in a statement.

The Nordic country's government will now start a dialogue with the Netherlands and Poland - on the North and Baltic seas respectively - about connecting the two offshore wind hubs to these countries, it said.

"This is not just about Denmark. It is about connecting our energy systems in order to speed up the green transition. The potential is enormous," Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said.

Ready by 2030

The two hubs and the surrounding offshore wind farms could be ready by 2030 and would more than triple Denmark's current offshore wind capacity from today's 1.7 GW.

Danish lawmakers have agreed on a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 from 1990 levels, one of the world’s most ambitious, but details on how exactly this will be achieved remain to be negotiated.

The energy islands are a pivotal part of the Social Democratic government's climate action plan which was presented on Wednesday but will still need to be ratified in parliament.

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