COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark on Thursday approved a plan to build an artificial island in the North Sea that will produce and store enough green energy to cover the electricity needs of 3 million European households.
The island, which in its initial phase will be the size of 18 football fields, will be linked to hundreds of offshore wind turbines and will supply both power to households and green hydrogen for use in shipping, aviation, industry and heavy transport.
The move came as the European Union unveiled plans to transform its electricity system to rely mostly on renewable energy within a decade and increase its offshore wind energy capacity 25-fold by 2050.
“This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition,” Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen told a press briefing.
“(The island) will make a big contribution to the realisation of the enormous potential for European offshore wind,” he said.
The energy island is an important part of Denmark’s legally binding target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 from 1990 levels, one of the world’s most ambitious.
The Nordic country, with its favourable wind speeds, was a pioneer in both onshore and offshore wind, building the world’s first offshore wind farm almost 30 years ago.
In December, it decided to halt the search for oil and gas in the Danish part of the North Sea.
The artificial island, to be located 80 kilometres off Denmark’s west coast, and its surrounding wind turbines will have an initial capacity of 3 gigawatts, cost around 210 billion Danish crowns ($33.87 billion), and be operational around 2033.
Denmark also has plans for an energy island in the Baltic Sea.
(This story corrects capacity of project in paragraph 9 to 3 gigawatts from 2 GW)
Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Tim Barsoe; Editing by Jon Boyle and Jan Harvey
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