Denmark wants to build a renewable energy island in the North Sea


The facility will be located in waters off the coast of Jutland.

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Denmark will move ahead with its plans to build a huge man-made island in the North Sea that will act as a major renewable energy hub and cost billions of dollars to develop.

The Danish Energy Agency, which is part of the government’s Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, said Thursday the project would be part of a public-private partnership, with the Danish state holding a majority stake.

The scope of the project, which will be located in waters 80 kilometers off the coast of Jutland, the large peninsula with mainland Denmark, is considerable.

In the first phase, with an output of 3 gigawatts (GW), around 200 offshore wind turbines are supplied with electricity to the hub, which is then distributed to the surrounding countries via the grid.

In the future, the hub’s capacity could be expanded to 10 GW. According to the Danish authorities, this would be enough to supply 10 million households in Europe with electricity. Depending on its final capacity, the island will cover an area between 120,000 and 460,000 square meters.

The estimated cost of building the artificial island, 10 GW capacity and the necessary transmission network is 210 billion Danish kroner (33.97 billion US dollars).

“The energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history,” said Danish climate minister Dan Jørgensen in a statement.

“It will go a long way towards realizing the enormous potential for European offshore wind and I look forward to our future collaboration with other European countries,” he added.

The project is now moving forward and the Danish climate department will start discussions with potential investors from the private sector. At the political level, the terms of the tender are negotiated, new legislation is passed and environmental impact assessments are carried out.

In addition to the artificial island, a second energy hub of 2 GW is planned for the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm.

Denmark is a pioneer when it comes to offshore wind projects. The world’s first offshore wind farm in waters near the Danish island of Lolland was commissioned in 1991 by Orsted – the company formerly known as DONG Energy. Other Danish companies like the turbine manufacturer Vestas are important players in wind energy.

Looking ahead, the European Union, of which Denmark is a part, wants its offshore wind capacity to reach 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by the middle of the century.