Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.
A European island of green energy
Thirty years ago Denmark became the first country to build an offshore wind farm.
Now, Denmark is looking to advance its clean-energy prowess by becoming the first country to build a so-called “energy island” in the North Sea.
Goodbye, Oily History
Despite a history of wind innovation and a blond population known to favor bikes over SUVs, Denmark is actually the European Union’s largest oil producer.
But change is afoot. Last year Denmark voted to end new licenses for oil and gas exploration projects in the North Sea. They also committed to reducing the country’s CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030.
The Energy Hub: Last week the Danish government greenlit the energy island — a $34 billion project located 50 miles off Denmark’s windy coast. Hailed as the largest development project in Denmark’s history, the artificial island will initially be the size of 18 football fields and have a capacity of three gigawatts (enough for roughly three million households):
- The hub will collect energy from 200 wind turbines and distribute it to Denmark and surrounding countries via the grid.
- Denmark is also expected to use the plant to extract hydrogen from seawater.
- A second round of development would be able to process enough energy for 10 million European households.
Last week Denmark’s Social Democrat agreed to take a 51% stake in the project with the remainder held by the private sector.
The announcement comes as traditional energy sources have reached their highest prices ever on the EU’s carbon permits trading system.