Danish industry calls for 3GW vision

DENMARK: Following reports of a new 800MW project to be offered off the Danish coast, the country's wind industry association has called on the government to set a 3GW pipeline.

Vattenfall's Horns Rev 3 offshore wind project is under construction off Denmark's coast

In an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske, energy minister Lars Christian Lilleholt revealed a new 800MW offshore wind project could be offered later this week.

A project of 50-75 turbines, approximately 50km from the coast, would be online in 2024, following a tender in 2021.

"The government is aiming for the [project] to be built without public support in addition to the costs associated with laying cables connecting the wind turbines with the grid," Berlingske's report said.

According to Berlingske, Lilleholt said: "We have seen... in northern Germany that there have been so-called zero bids.

"Today it will not be possible to build new coal power plants... cheaper than offshore wind farms per kilowatt hour," Lilleholt added.

The Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA) has welcomed the announcement, but called for a more ambitious plan.

"Because Denmark is internationally regarded as a leader in offshore wind, the industry hopes to have a more concrete plan for the roll-out until 2030.

"The government's vision for offshore wind is right, although there is a need for the plans to become more concrete and should contain at least 3GW," DWIA said in a statement.

Denmark has a little over 1.3GW of offshore wind capacity currently installed. There is also another 1.35GW in the pipeline, with the 406.7MW Horns Rev 3 already under construction.

The 350MW Vesterhav nearshore project and the 605MW Kriegers Flak offshore projects — all being developed by Swedish utility Vattenfall — are expected online by 2022. Beyond 2022, there is no more planned offshore wind capacity in Denmark.

DWIA chief executive Jan Hylleberg said the government needs offer greater clarity for investors.

"The vision is in place, but if power generation from offshore winds does not require public subsidies during the forthcoming energy agreement, there is no reason for the government to wait until 2022 to make a global plan for offshore wind," Hylleberg said.

"It is very positive that the government wants a new 800MW park established in 2024 so that we can maintain a stable set-up of offshore winds after Kriegers Flak.

"If the politicians believe that when they say Denmark is going to being the Silicon Valley for offshore wind, the parties to a new energy agreement must have a concrete plan for it until 2030.

"This is the case in neighbouring countries, most recently the Dutch want to build 1GW a year in the period 2024-2030.

"Such decisions mean companies can plan and invest, and we hope that the final energy agreement will allow the same in Denmark, as it is here that we have jobs and production to protect," Hylleberg added.