In 1991, Denmark cut the ribbon to the world’s first offshore wind farm - marking a new era in the transition towards cleaner energy. Now, the country is to further expand its green energy potential by building the world’s first energy island in the North Sea - that will also benefit its neighbours.
Danish officials have been discussing the construction of energy islands for some time but with Europe now seeking to accelerate its efforts to stop buying Russian oil and gas, the project is now going into high gear.
“Denmark and Europe “must be free of Russian fossil fuels as fast as possible,” said Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities. Towards that effort, the country will move its energy transition forward by “massively increasing” the deployment of renewable energy sources offshore as well as on land, said Jørgensen.
Most of Denmark’s renewable energy generation - which accounts for almost half of its total energy supply - comes from isolated offshore wind farms that feed green electricity directly into the grid. With energy islands, the country would be able to have wind turbines even further away from its shores and distribute the power more efficiently to other countries as well.
The islands will essentially act as energy hubs collecting, storing, and distributing green power from hundreds of offshore wind turbines directly to consumers in Denmark and neighbouring countries. This will make it easier to route electricity from an area with abundant wind resources to areas that need it most, vastly improving efficiency.
The current plan involves the construction of two energy islands. One of them will be located in the North Sea and will have an initial capacity of 3GW offshore wind energy, which will then be expanded to 10GW - enough to power ten million households. The second island will be located in the Baltic Sea and will have a capacity of 2GW.
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