Vindø: The world’s first energy island

Denmark will build a hub for 200 wind turbines in the North Sea that will supply energy to 3 million households.

A few years ago Denmark launched an energy plan that plans to produce 100% renewable electricity by 2030. It also planned to achieve energy independence by 2050, freeing itself from fossil fuels. To bring this goal closer, the government cancelled all new licenses for the extraction of hydrocarbons in the North Sea. Thanks to a cross-cutting parliamentary vote, in June 2020 approved a project for the construction of two artificial islands that will have the purpose of generating electricity by exploiting the wind in the open sea.

An energy island is based on a platform that functions as a hub for electricity production from nearby offshore wind farms.

This is the largest and most ambitious infrastructure plan in the history of Denmark. One of the two platforms will be built near the island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea, about forty kilometres from the Swedish coast. While the other will be built in the North Sea, west of the Jutland peninsula, about 80 kilometres from the coast. The Danish government has also announced that preliminary inspections for the construction of the largest island, the one in the North Sea, will soon begin.

What will it be like?

The first “energy island” in the world will have an area of ​​120 thousand square meters, and will produce energy thanks to 200 giant wind turbines offshore, that is, located in the open sea, which will rise up to 260 meters above the sea level. Its initial energy capacity will be 3 Gigawatts (the needs of 3 million households), which over time may reach up to 10 GW. Considering that Denmark has almost 6 million inhabitants, the electricity produced will be more than enough to meet national needs, and therefore will also be destined for neighboring countries.

Danish Climate Minister Dan Jørgensen said: “This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition. This decision marks the beginning of a new era of sustainable energy production in Denmark and around the world and links very ambitious climate goals with growth and green jobs. The North Sea energy hub will be the largest built project in Danish history. We will make a great contribution to realizing the enormous potential of European offshore wind, and I am excited for our future collaboration with other European countries “.

The road ahead

The energy islands, in addition to distributing the electricity generated by the wind turbines, will also host plants for the production of green hydrogen. Which will serve as clean fuel for ships, airplanes, heavy transport vehicles and industrial machinery. The project will cost a total of 210 billion Danish crowns, or around 28 billion euros. Given its size and complexity, the state will have the majority of ownership of the islands, while the rest will be owned by several private companies.

It is the largest construction development in Danish history. Denmark has a long history of developing strong winds from the sea to create electricity. They built the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991.

This was done to connect and simultaneously supply power between Denmark and neighbouring nations. Denmark is in agreement with Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium to start the joint scrutiny of connections in the energy island.

The studies for the construction of the island in the North Sea are expected to be completed in 2024 and the plant is expected to go into operation in 2030, although it will be difficult for it to produce energy before 2033.

However, with this magnificent project, Denmark is a candidate to become a top European country for the production of clean and sustainable energy.

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