The Danish Energy Agency has today formally announced that, as expected, it will build an artificial island in the North Sea, 50 miles off the coast of the Jutland Peninsula. This green energy hub will, when complete, be expected to supply 10GW: roughly the energy needs of 10 million households across Europe. Measuring around 120,000 square meters, the artificial island will receive, store and transmit power from nearby wind farms back to shore. Reuters reports that the project is likely to cost around $34 billion, and is expected to be operational by 2033.
Officials add that, eventually, it’s hoped that the island will house a “green fuel” plant which can then be sent to Denmark. That’s likely to be an extension of the Danish plan to use surplus wind power to run an electrolyzer to extract Hydrogen from seawater without any CO2 emissions. And Denmark, which is one of the European Union’s largest oil producers, is expecting to use this island to help renew its own energy industry. The nation has previously said that it will stop extracting fossil fuels entirely by 2050, and has already stopped offering tenders to companies for future exploration.
Denmark has been far ahead of the curve when producing renewable energy from wind, especially thanks to its geography. Not only does it sit at a favorable point in the North Sea, but the water levels around its coastline are shallow enough to make it easier and cheaper to build off-shore turbines. And lawmakers in the country have removed a number of legal barriers that would slow down construction of turbines. In 2015, strong winds enabled the country to generate 140 percent of its total energy demand, which it then sold on to neighboring countries. By 2019, the country had 6,128MW of generation capacity, supplying around half of its total energy demand.