Denmark has reached a deal on the construction of the first of its kind wind energy hub in the North Sea that promises to produce yet unseen amounts of green electricity, in what has been described as the largest construction project in Danish history.
The energy hub - an artificial island - will serve as an offshore power plant gathering and distributing green electricity from hundreds of wind turbines surrounding the island directly to consumers in countries surrounding the North Sea.
The island is expected to have a total area of at least 120.000 square meters and in its first phase, it will be able to provide 3 million European households with green energy. The project will be a public-private partnership between the Danish state and private companies.
"The energy hub will be an artificially constructed island 80 kilometers from the shore of the peninsula Jutland. It will be owned by a public-private partnership. The hub will strengthen the integration of Europe’s power grids and increase renewable electricity production necessary for a climate-neutral Europe," Danish Energy Agency said Thursday.
The State will own the majority of the island, but private companies will be crucial for the project to fulfill the potential as regards to innovation, flexibility, cost-effectiveness and business potentials, the agency said in a statement.
Per DEA, the artificial island will offer the best opportunities to expand the project, for example by building a harbor and facilities for storage and conversion of green electricity from the nearby wind turbines in the sea. It is the long-term ambition to be able to store green electricity on the island, convert it to liquid green fuel, and send it via subsea cables to Denmark and neighboring countries.
According to Reuters, the artificial island and its surrounding wind turbines will have an initial capacity of 3 gigawatts, cost around 210 billion Danish crowns ($33.87 billion), and be operational around 2033.
As previously reported, Denmark, the EU's largest oil producer, has recently introduced a cut-off date of 2050 for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea and canceled all future licensing rounds.
"Today, by agreeing on the construction and ownership of the world’s first energy hub in the North Sea, Denmark takes another significant step in the green transition. The energy hub will produce yet unseen amounts of green electricity and is one of the government's flagship projects for the green transition in Europe. Fully implemented it will be able to cover the consumption of 10 million European households," Danish Energy Agency 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 energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history. It will make a big contribution to the realization of the enormous potential for European offshore wind, and I am excited for our future collaboration with other European countries”, says the Danish Minister for Climate, Dan Jørgensen.
“We are at the dawn of a new era for energy. Last year, Denmark set a cutoff date for fossil fuel extraction. Today we are taking a decisive step toward a clean energy future. The EU has set a goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and the Commission has set a target of 300 GW offshore wind energy in order to attain this goal. By constructing the world’s first energy hub with a potential capacity of 10 GW, Denmark significantly contributes to this ambitious target. Not only by dramatically expanding renewable energy production, but also by supplying our European neighbors with an abundance of renewable energy”, says Jørgensen.
Details about the ownership of the island will be specified in order for a tender for private partnerships to be opened, making the island a reality as soon as possible, the Danish Energy Agency said.