Danish government proposes giant 800MW wind farm

The Danish government has presented plans to build a giant 800MW offshore wind farm over the coming decade which will generate enough electricity to supply 800,000 households.

Danish government proposes giant 800MW wind farm
An offshore wind farm managed by the Danish energy firm Ørsted. Photo: Ørsted
The farm, which will be twice the size of Denmark’s current largest, will be put out to tender in 2021 and built  between 2024 and 2027. The government has yet to decide on where the farm will be based. 
The farm is the most eye-catching scheme in a government proposal published on Thursday, which it hopes will form the basis of a future energy agreement with opposition parties setting the direction for Denmark's energy policy from 2020 to 2030. 
“The government's long-term climate target is that Denmark must be a low-emission society by 2050 which does not emit greenhouse gases and is completely independent of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil,” Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said in a press release. 
“We must be able to cover at least half of Denmark's energy demand for renewable energy by 2030.” 
But the focus on wind generation comes alongside a sharp reduction in electricity taxes, which is unlikely to please environmentalists. 
The government hopes to cut the tax on electricity from 91 øre a kilowatt to 25 øre between 2019 and 2025, saving the average family 1500 Danish kroner a year, and also halve the tax on electric heating from 30 øre to 15 øre. 
Danish Energy, the country’s trade body for energy companies welcomed the plan. 
The proposal marks a new departure, where the green goes up, but the electricity bill goes down,” the body's chief executive Lars Aagaard said in a press release. 
His main criticism was that the government had failed to emphasise transport sufficiently. 
“If we want to we achieve our long-term climate ambitions and targets for energy efficiency, we need to consider cars powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels,” he said, pointing out that an electric car is three times as energy efficient.  
Pia Olsen Dyhr, chair of the Socialist People's Party, said the government’s claim that the proposal was “the greenest in Denmark’s history” was “pure gibberish”. 
“It is quite clear that it is far more important for the government to provide tax relief than to be be ambitious when it comes to solving the climate challenge and to create jobs in green companies,” she wrote in a blog post. 
“I'm deeply afraid that my daughter's going to come and knock on my door in 20 years furious that we did not do more to curb climate change.” 


Denmark and Baltic countries plan ‘seven times more’ offshore wind energy

Denmark and other nations bordering the Baltic Sea will announce on Tuesday a plan to dramatically boost offshore wind energy by 2030. 

Denmark and Baltic countries plan 'seven times more' offshore wind energy

Today, just under 3 gigawatts are generated in the Baltic Sea, about half of which is Danish energy. An additional 1,100 to 1,700 offshore wind turbines will be needed to bring the total energy capacity to nearly 20 gigawatts in 2030.

A joint agreement to reach these levels in coming years is to be announced by participating countries on Tuesday, according to newspaper Politiken.

The newspaper reports a draft declaration it has seen in relation to the agreement, which will be presented at a summit at the Danish prime minister’s residence, Marienborg, north of Copenhagen on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Denmark keen to join with Baltic countries on wind energy

Should the amount of additional energy reported by Politiken be produced, as many as 22 to 30 million households could see their energy needs covered by wind power.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen talked up the importance of wind power in comments to Politiken.

“The war in Ukraine and climate change are being met with now. We have two crises on the table at the same time. We need to speed up green energy conversion and we need to free ourselves from Russian fossil fuels,” she said.

Frederiksen is participating in the summit on behalf of Denmark. Senior officials and leaders and from Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and the EU Commission will also attend.

The summit was earlier scheduled to take place on Denmark’s Baltic island Bornholm but was moved due to a strike at Bornholm’s airport, which was not resolved until late on Monday.

A total of 2.8 gigawatts of wind power are currently produced in the Baltic Sea according to the Danish energy ministry.

Potentially, that could be increased to 93 gigawatts by 2050, an EU Commission assessment has found.

Earlier this year, Frederiksen hosted a green energy summit in western Danish city Esbjerg, at which the government signed an agreement with Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for a ten-fold increase of offshore wind power capacity in the North Sea to 150 gigawatts by 2050.

On Monday, the Danish parliament voted through plans to increase production wind energy at a wind turbine park off Bornholm from 2 to 3 gigawatts. The facility will be connected to Germany.