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An artificial island in the North Sea to serve as an offshore wind energy hub by Ahmet Fatih Irkli

In 2018, the Dernmark government stopped accepting new permits for hydrocarbon exploration and drilling on both land and inland seas due to increasing concerns towards climate change. The plan is by 2050 to stop exploration and drilling operations for gas and oil in the North Sea. Recently in 2021, Denmark Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities has announced a new plan for building an energy hub based on an artificial island in the North Sea.


Figure 1. Image by author. Adopted from Freepik and *MapleRose


According to the announcement, planned energy hub island will cover at least 120.000 square meters and will be expandable for further innovations. The energy hub will work as an interlinkage for surrounding offshore wind farm while hosting electricity transformation, distribution and transmission facilities on board. Further expansions will include energy storage units, energy conversion facilities, hydrogen production facility, and a harbour. Initially, the hub will supply 3 GW offshore wind energy and extendable up to 10 GW based on negotiations with the winner of the tender which will be the partner from the private sector. The energy hub island will contribute to other European countries’ climate neutrality by interconnecting them via subsea connections.


The energy hub will be built through partnership between the private sector and the Danish government. The government will have the majority of the ownership of the energy hub. Exact amount of the government’s and private sector’s share will be decided later. Next step towards the plan will be the discussion for potential partnership and tender frameworks. The government will also discuss tender terms and related legislation needs of the country.


If the plan goes well, Denmark’s energy hub island will contribute 10 GW to EU’s ambitious target of 300 GW offshore wind energy supply by 2050. While this initiative significantly drift away Denmark from fossil fuel dependency, it will also supply clean energy to neighbouring European countries.


Resources:

Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (22-02-2018) Oil/gas exploration and drilling end on land and inland waters, Available at: https://en.kefm.dk/news/news-archive/2018/feb/oil-gas (Accessed: 5th February 2021).

Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (04-02-2021) Denmark decides to construct the world’s first wind energy hub as an artificial island in the North Sea, Available at: https://en.kefm.dk/news/news-archive/2021/feb/denmark-decides-to-construct-the-world%E2%80%99s-first-windenergy-hub-as-an-artificial-island-in-the-north-sea (Accessed: 5th February 2021).

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