The government of Denmark announced last week plans for two massive “energy islands” to be built in waters off its coast, one piece of a six-part plan to reduce emissions 70 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. The project must gain approval from the Danish parliament but is expected to pass after negotiations.
Once in operation, the two wind power “islands” are expected to produce so much green power that not only will they power all Danish households, but the country will also be able to export additional wind energy to neighboring countries. Denmark’s announcement is another step in the wind power explosion happening across northern Europe, which comes shortly after the UK released plans to develop the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the Yorkshire coast, with additional wind power projects beginning in Scotland.
The first of Denmark’s “islands” is to be built in the North Sea and connected to the Netherlands. This wind farm will generate two gigawatts of power at first and could later be expanded to produce five times that. The second development is slated for the Baltic Sea on the existing Danish island of Bornholm. Once the islands are fully operational and their GW capacity is expanded, the country hopes to use excess energy to power part of its transportation sector, including ships and trucks.
“Denmark must be a green pioneer country, which is why we hold on to the high climate ambitions even if we are in the midst of a historic crisis,” said Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s climate minister, in a statement. “We present a package that delivers both CO2 reductions in the short term and paves the way for future climate neutral Denmark.”
The plan to build the “energy islands” also includes funding for further research toward carbon capture and storage technologies, according to a report from Climate Change News. Later this year, Denmark hopes to release plans to reduce emissions across its transportation and agriculture sectors.