Back in 1991, Denmark cut the ribbon to the world’s first offshore wind farm — marking a new milestone in the transition towards cleaner energy sources. Now, the country plans to further expand its green energy potential by building the world’s first energy island in the North Sea.
Accelerating Europe’s transition towards renewables
Danish officials have been discussing the construction of energy islands for some time already. The project is now expected to go into high gear to help Europe wean off Russian oil as fast as possible.
“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.
Distributing power more efficiently
Most of Denmark’s renewable energy generation — which accounts for almost 50 percent 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 neighboring 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. The other one will be located in the Baltic Sea and will have a capacity of 2GW — enough to power two million households.