Little Mermaid - Copenhagen, Denmark

Danes pencil in plans for energy island by 2030

When it comes to making that switch to renewables, the Danes are several steps ahead of us Brits. Now, they might move many steps further.

According to the latest data, just 15.1 per cent of the electricity produced in Denmark came from fossil fuels in 2019. That compares with the UK, where 43.4 per cent stemmed from these same sources. The UK is having to play catch-up, because Denmark is a pioneer in decarbonisation.

Home to 5.8 million people, Denmark is a leading producer of wind power, giving us much food for thought on how to tap into the potential of wind over the coming years. Now, Denmark could be going that bit further, creating an ‘energy island’, to go operational as soon as 2030.

Energy island in the offing

Northern European countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark are no stranger to creating artificial islands or land. In the Netherlands, as much as 17 per cent of the country’s landmass is reclaimed from seas or lakes. The Danes are no stranger to such activities, and the country already has plenty of islands to speak of – Denmark consists of no fewer than 391 islands at the latest count.

Now, plans are afoot to boost Danish credentials in green energy, with a Danish consortium VindØ pencilling in plans to construct an energy island which would sit 100km off the Danish coast, situated in the North Sea. The consortium, which is a partnership between two Danish pension funds, PensionDanmark and PFA, plus leading utility company Andel, believes the island could be up and running by 2030.

The island would be comprised of submersible concrete blocks deposited onto the sea floor, and would connect the mainland to 3GW worth of offshore wind power. However, the consortium intends for the island to potentially relay up to 10GW back to shore eventually, suggesting significant scaling in Danish offshore wind power generation in the coming years.

The consortium calls the island VindØ, and uploaded a CGI animated video to YouTube, to give people an idea about how the island could look by 2030.

Energy hubs of the future

Energy centres such as VindØ could be essential in helping not only connect the mainland to a steady supply of offshore wind power. VindØ’s proponents are keen to make the island a site for energy storage for clean sources of power such as hydrogen. We have written at great length already about the need for specialised energy hubs, to make green hydrogen viable in the coming years.

VindØ island is currently awaiting approval, with a decision expected by Spring 2021. This energy island, if successful, would surely not be the last of its kind to be created. To think, past energy-related engineering projects off the coast often used to involve the creation of juggernaut oil and gas rigs. Now, these projects are creating green energy islands, ready for the future.

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