BY PADMA EDIRISINGHE
Denmark could cover its entire national power consumption from offshore wind, said its government as it flagged the potential for at least 12.4GW more turbines in its waters.
The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has identified new sites for between 12 and 15 wind farms under a study ordered by the government last year into offshore wind’s future potential.
The “at least” 12.4GW of potential at the sites – predominately in the North Sea, but with some in the Baltic – would “deliver more power than is currently consumed in Denmark”, said a statement. The DEA carved the designated areas out of what it says is a total 40GW of theoretical total potential capacity.
Energy and climate minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said: “Denmark is already a great offshore wind [location], and the survey shows that we have the potential for much more. We have such good conditions for offshore wind that we can contribute significantly to cover the need for green electricity, not just in Denmark, but also in many other countries.”
Denmark ordered the study into future potential following its 2018 Energy Agreement, which committed the country to build three, 800MW offshore projects by 2030. The first of those, In North Sea, will go out for tender this year and is due in service by 2027. The wind farm will be Denmark’s largest offshore array so far, surpassing Vattenfall’s 600MW Kriegers Flak that is due to be completed by 2021.
The government made clear it expects the future massive build-out to be done on a subsidy-free basis. Lilleholt said: “The North Sea must be developed into a global leading area for offshore wind, where we do not support the turbines. With the new plan, we are ready to quickly assign new placements when the development in offshore wind really takes off.”
Denmark – home to sector giants including Orsted, Vestas and MHI Vestas – already has a record penetration of wind power in its national electricity demand – 41% in 2018, according to WindEurope figures – thanks to the close integration of its onshore wind fleet into its power system.