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Denmark to build world’s first ‘energy island’

Denmark is set on building the world’s first energy island, which will be the size of 18 football pitches.

Denmark has a history of being a global leader in renewable energy. In 1991, they built the first offshore wind farm, and currently 48.6% of the energy produced by the country comes from wind power.

Now, following the Danish government’s 2020 Climate Action Plan, they intend to construct two energy islands, one in the North Sea and another in the Baltic.

This ambitious project involves building an island off the Danish coast to situate 200 giant wind turbines. The construction project is the largest in Danish history, costing at least $34 billion.

The Danish Energy Agency has described them as “green power plants at sea”, connecting the wind turbines directly to electricity grids to power at least 5 million homes initially, potentially doubling in the future.

This ‘radical vision’ will not only benefit Denmark, but neighbouring European countries as well. Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands have already signed off agreements, and it’s possible that the UK could also be beneficiaries of this green future.

Peter Larson, of the North Sea Wind Power Hub Programme, has also highlighted how the energy islands could act as a model for future European green energy projects.

“It’s in Danish waters, yes, but it could conceptually be in any other country.”

This push for renewable energy was not only triggered by the climate crisis. Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister of Climate, announced that this plan was also a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Denmark and Europe must be free of Russian fossil fuels as fast as possible.”

As of June this year, Russian exports of coal, oil and gas to the UK is worth £4.5 billion. 27% of our coal and nearly 1/10th of our oil is sourced from Russia.

The two energy islands are expected to have been built and connected by 2030 at the latest, but multiple energy companies have announced that an earlier completion date is very feasible.

Once finished, the island will produce 5-6GW of energy. To put that in perspective, it takes over 3 million solar panels to produce 1 GW (gigawatt) of energy.

This green energy could be used in shipping, aviation, industry and heavy transport; projects such as these are crucial to our future, and ending our reliance on fossil fuels.