Denmark okays gas pipeline connecting Norway and Poland

Work on a subsea pipeline between Norway and Poland aimed at reducing Warsaw's dependence on Russian gas has resumed after being suspended for environmental reasons, Danish state-owned firm Energinet said on Tuesday.

Baltic Pipe photographed under construction in Denmark
Baltic Pipe photographed under construction in Denmark in May 2021. Photo: John Randeris/Ritzau Scanpix

In 2021, the Danish Environmental and Food Appeals Board withdrew the permit for the 210-kilometre Danish section of the Baltic Sea pipeline, citing concerns about animal species.

The pipeline will supply Norwegian gas to Poland, which in 2019 announced it would not extend its contract with Russian giant Gazprom beyond 2022.

Gazprom supplied two-thirds of Poland’s gas needs.

“The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has granted a new environmental permit for the Baltic Pipe pipeline,” Energinet said in a statement.

“With the new permit Energinet can start construction work on the parts of the project in East Jutland and on the western part of the island of Fionie, which have been halted since May 2021,” the grid operator said.

Energinet expects the pipeline, named Baltic Pipe, to be partially operational from October 1st and be running fully by January 1st, 2023.

Last week, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany suspended the controversial German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking its territory to Russia via a massive Baltic Sea pipeline, which while completed has remains unused.

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Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

EU members Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium on Wednesday said they wanted to increase their North Sea wind power capacity tenfold by 2050 to help the bloc achieve its climate goals and avoid Russian hydrocarbons.

Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the plan would mean the four countries would “deliver more than half of all offshore wind needed to reach climate neutrality in the European Union”.

The increase would make the North Sea “the green power plant of Europe”, she told a news conference in the port of Esbjerg in western Denmark.

“Setting a vision is not enough, we will make it happen,” Frederiksen added, flanked by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, Dutch premier Mark Rutte and Belgian leader Alexander De Croo.

The countries’ goal is to raise wind power capacity fourfold to 65 gigawatts by 2030 and then tenfold to almost 150 gigawatts by 2050.

They said 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power would supply 230 million homes with electricity.

Such a capacity would amount to 15,000-20,000 wind turbines, based on the most powerful ones currently on the market.

The announcement comes as the European Commission presented a plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy worth 210 billion euros ($220 billion) to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas as quickly as possible.

The European Union has already said it will end imports of Russian coal by August.

An embargo on Russian oil as part of a sixth sanctions package against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine is proving more contentious after Hungary raised objections.

The commission has said it wants to reduce purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and completely before 2030.

On Wednesday it proposed to increase the proportion of renewable energies in the bloc’s energy mix from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.

The 27-nation EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

READ ALSO: Danish offshore wind could help Europe ditch fossil fuels