Manmade offshore islands surrounded by wind turbines are being considered in Denmark to help achieve their new climate targets. Their aim is to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050.
The initial phase of the island project is expected to have the capacity to power 10 million households across the country with a generating capacity of 10 GW. The new wind farms will have an estimated output five times higher than its existing renewable capacity and will cost in the region of 300 billion Danish crowns (£22.5-33.8 billion).
In 2018, the country produced 41% of its energy requirements from wind turbines which is already the highest in Europe. The project would greatly assist Denmark’s position of being one of the leading countries in Europe aiming for carbon neutrality.
Why develop the islands?
The island project has been chosen because it would allow for the renewable energy to be distributed more easily to industries such as aviation, shipping and other transport infrastructure. Multiple islands would be able to connect and distribute the electricity between the countries surrounding the North Sea. Infrastructure for converting and storing the energy would also be housed on the island.
Figure 1: Danish wind turbines
Where will the wind farms be located?
Two location options have been considered, one in the North Sea and the second in the Baltic Sea.
What about other energy sources?
Money in the range of 65 million Danish crowns (approximately £7.43 million) is to be invested to help identify how the electricity can be used to produce hydrogen fuel for transport and industry. Hydrogen can be beneficial over electricity because there is no charge time associated with hydrogen fuel cells and it could be used like fossil fuels are today.
- Denmark plans to build artificial islands for windfarms, Jon Henly, 11 December 2019. The Guardian.
- Denmark plans $30 billion offshore wind island that could power 10 million homes, Stine Joacobsen, 10 December 2019. Reuters.
- Denmark explores building artificial islands to support 10 GW of offshore wind, Sladjana Djunisic, 11 December 2019. Renewables Now.
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