The parliament of Denmark has approved plans for 6 GW of offshore wind capacity across two energy islands and a new wind farm. One of the islands will be artificially built in the North Sea, and both will act as bases for energy development.
The plan includes legislation for the construction of a 1GW wind farm off the coast of Hesselø, a small island north-west of the Danish Straits surrounding Copenhagen. The artificial island will lie in the North Sea, connected to the Netherlands. The other will centre around Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, with plans to potentially connect the island to Poland in the future. The Danish government is likely to open negotiations with the countries as well.
Both energy islands could be further expanded in future, but the developments will mean Denmark can generate a large portion of its current power demand with offshore wind.
The plan is part of a coronavirus recovery stimulus originally outlined in May 2020, but the agreed capacity exceeds the targets laid out. It includes $58 million of investment in carbon capture and green fuels per year. This includes support of biogas and power-to-X technologies, which capture energy as substances such as hydrogen.
For heating, the agreement aims to phase out oil and gas boilers, replacing them with heat pumps and district heating. The government plans to redistribute heating taxes to support this, as well as larger tax reforms to incentivise renewables over fossil fuels.
REGlobal’s views: For many countries across the world, Covid crisis has become an opportunity to reset the economy, introduce green infrastructure, and launch sustainable stimulus packages focused on clean energy technologies. Denmark’s move is a testimony to the fact that green stimulus spending could help create energy-related jobs, boost economic growth, improve sustainability and build resilience to future shocks.