Denmark confirmed plans to build two ‘energy islands’ populated by wind turbines that would add 4GW to its renewable power capacity by 2030.
The islands – one artificial structure in the North Sea and the natural island of Bornholm in the Baltic – would represent a “paradigm” shift away from individual wind farms, said the nation’s energy ministry.
The North Sea site will have the potential to grow to host 10GW of wind capacity, while power generated on the islands could be used to produce green hydrogen to fuel heavy industry or transport, said the government as it added details to plans first mooted late last year.
The Danish government plan – part of a wider climate initiative – chimes with proposals tabled by offshore wind giant Orsted in 2019.
The Danish group unveiled plans for a 5GW offshore wind hub connecting Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Germany, supporting large-scale production of green hydrogen and creating what it called "the world's first energy island" on Bornholm.
Denmark’s energy minister Dan Jørgensen said in a statement: “With the establishment of the world's first two energy islands, we embark on a whole new era in the Danish wind adventure.
“We are massively increasing the amount of sea wind, and at the same time we will be able to use the green power in the tanks of trucks, cargo ships and aircraft.”
The energy islands initiative still needs approval from the Danish parliament. The developments could link to neighbouring power systems to facilitate export of green power.
Denmark – historically a pioneer in the wind sector – has passed legislation committing it to 70% emissions reductions by 2030.
Its next big offshore wind project to be awarded will be the up-to 1GW Thor, the first of three major developments planned before 2030. The nation had 1.7GW installed offshore by the end of 2019.
The Danish plan is another example of a massive ramping-up of ambition in the offshore wind sector, with other examples including the Netherlands’ plan for 10GW of offshore wind to fuel hydrogen production.