Denmark’s government has agreed to take a majority stake in a £25bn ($33.5bn) artificial “energy island”, which is to be built 50 miles (80km) offshore, in the middle of the North Sea.
The island will initially have an area of 120,000 sq.m - the size of 18 football pitches - and in its first phase will be able to provide 3m households with green energy. It will be protected from North Sea storms on three sides by a high sea wall, with a dock for service vessels taking up the fourth side.
The Danish government has agreed to take a 51% stake in the island, with the remainder held by the private sector. “This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition,” Denmark’s climate minister said. “The energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history. It will make a big contribution to the realisation of the enormous potential for European offshore wind.”
“This is huge for Denmark,” the minister said. “We are taking a step into the next era of offshore wind. We were the first country in 1991 to build an offshore wind farm, and now we are taking the next step. The 10GW generated will produce far, far more clean energy than we can use as a country, so this is part of a strategy to help other countries meet their targets.”
Construction of the island was expected to start in 2026, with the next five years spent signing up private sector partners, carrying out environmental impact assessments on the sea bed, and signing deals to connect the two energy islands to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. “The economic feasibility of the projects are dependent on us making those connections, because it’s far more than we can use ourselves,” he said.
Although it’s a rather agreeable place, there’s nothing particularly exceptional about Samsø Island at first glance, but... this very ordinariness is what makes it so remarkable that, for the past 20 years, Samsø has been a world-leading green energy community. More...