Denmark is pursuing plans to build one or more artificial islands surrounded by offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 10 gigawatts, capable of supplying up to 10 million households, the climate and energy ministry has said.
The country, which produced 41% of its energy from wind power in 2018, the highest level in Europe, last week passed an ambitious climate act which commits it to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with new, legally binding targets every five years from 2020.
The capacity of the new park, to be financed mainly by the private sector at a total cost of 200bn-300bn Danish kroner, would be five times higher than Denmark’s current wind power output, the climate and energy minister Dan Jørgensen said.
“If we are to realise the the enormous potential of offshore wind, new technologies will have to be developed to convert green power into fuel for aircraft, ships and industry,” Jørgensen added.
The ministry has allocated 65m kroner from its 2020 budget to research into storing and converting the energy coming into the new wind park to renewable hydrogen, since the power it generates will not all be used by Denmark’s 6 million inhabitants.
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A range of different locations were being explored for the project, including in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the ministry said.
Eight of the 10 parties in the Danish parliament agreed the new climate act, which besides setting tough new emission targets and instituting a a stringent control mechanism obliges the government to present definite projects each year to decarbonise every sector, from energy to transport to agriculture.
“We have decided not to aim for what we know to be possible, but what we know to be necessary,” Jørgensen said when the act was passed last Friday. “Our task is now to make the necessary possible. With the target enshrined in a legally binding climate act, we hope Denmark can inspire other countries to follow suit.”