European Offshore 2020: Denmark - Early adopter on track

Unswerving in its determination, Denmark, the original pioneer of wind power, not only expects to achieve its 2020 offshore target, but to exceed it handsomely. Sara Knight reports.

Completing the 400MW Anholt offshore wind farm on schedule and on budget in June was the highlight of Denmark's wind energy industry in 2013. The project is 50% owned by Dong Energy, which is largely owned by the Danish state, while the other stakeholders are both pension funds: PensionDanmark (30%); and PKA (20%). The substantial interest demonstrated by such cautious investors indicates how secure and stable earnings from the project are expected to be.

Anholt is Denmark's 13th and largest offshore project. Its commissioning took the country's offshore installed capacity to 1.292GW, tantalisingly close to its 2020 target of 1.339GW. While most EU countries look set to miss their targets, some by a considerable amount, Denmark is in the happy position of comfortably exceeding it.

Steady growth

Planning for the future, the Danish government's Energy Policy Report 2012 heralded 1GW of offshore wind to be put up for tender, comprising the 400MW Horns Rev 3 and the 600MW Kriegers Flak projects.

The Horns Rev 3 timeline calls for preliminary tenders to be submitted by September 2014 and binding tenders by December 2014, with a view to concession contract and construction permits being awarded in early 2015. Connection to the grid is guaranteed from the start of 2017, with full operation expected for early 2020.

The timeline for Kriegers Flak requires preliminary tenders by 29 April 2015, binding tenders four months later, and contract and permits to be awarded in the autumn. Grid connection is guaranteed from July 2018 and the project is scheduled for full commissioning by early 2020.

Another 500MW of offshore wind, of which 50MW would serve research and development, is earmarked for other coastal areas. Together with Horns Rev 3 and Kriegers Flak, this would add 1.5GW to Denmark's offshore capacity by 2020, taking it close to 3GW in total.

Current offshore capacity: 1.29GW

NREAP 2020 aim: 1.339GW

Realistic forecast: 3GW

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