Denmark exploring 10GW-plus offshore energy islands

The Danish government has allocated funding to begin research on whether it is possible to develop one or more energy islands supporting at least 10GW of offshore wind.

Funding is included in Denmark's Finance Act for 2020 (pic: PxHere)

It plans to connect neighbouring offshore wind farms to a natural island or artificial platform and distribute their generation between North Sea countries.

An initial investment of DKK 65 million (€8.7 million) included in Denmark’s Finance Act for 2020 will fund feasibility studies for the project and development of technologies capable of converting large amount of electricity.

Sites will be examined in the sea off the east coast of Denmark’s central Jutland region, the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, the energy ministry said.

It will also carry out technical investigations and discuss cooperation with other North Sea countries before making a final decision on whether to proceed further with the project.

The ministry added that the project would eventually cost DKK200-300 billion (€27-40 billion), with the "vast majority" of the additional investment coming from the private sector.

Energy minister Dan Jørgensen explained that energy captured at the offshore hub could be converted into green fuel for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as aviation and shipping.

The idea of using artificial islands to link North Sea countries with offshore wind farms has been considered before.

Danish operator Energinet, one of the DTU’s partners on the project, is also working with Dutch TSO Tennet to develop a wind power hub in the North Sea.

The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority is exploring the potential of creating artificial islands on which wind-generated electricity and hydrogen can be produced.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Electric Power and Energy at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is leading a research project to determine what technology will be needed for an artificial island to connect North Sea wind farms to surrounding countries

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