“Biggest project ever”: Denmark greenlights €28bn offshore wind energy hub

The Danish government yesterday approved a plan to build a massive wind energy hub 80km offshore in the North Sea that will power 3 million households in its first phase. 

Billed as the biggest construction project in Danish history, the public-private partnership involves building a 12ha artificial island with a harbour and storage facilities to distribute electricity from 200 turbines installed in the surrounding water.

In its first phase, the hub will have a generating capacity of some 10GW. Later phases of the project, which include a second island, may eventually power 10 million households.

The scheme has an estimated price tag of €28bn, which will include the construction of the island, the offshore turbines and the transmission and distribution infrastructure.

It follows Denmark’s decision to cancel all future licensing rounds for North Sea oil and gas extraction.

Dan Joergensen, Denmark’s climate change minister, said: "This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition. This decision marks the start of a new era of sustainable energy production in Denmark and the world and it links very ambitious climate goals with growth and green jobs."

The scheme was first mooted in December 2019 (see further reading), and the government allocated about $10m of its 2020 budget to developing ways of converting and storing wind energy as hydrogen, which would enable wind power to be used as a fuel as well as a source of electricity.

Denmark presently generates 40% of its electricity from wind power. It is home to Vesta Wind Systems, the world’s largest wind turbine producer, as well offshore wind developer Orsted.

The hub is expected to be completed by 2033.

Image: A Danish wind farm with heritage vessel Fridtjof Nansen in the foreground (Mark König/Unsplash) 

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