Danish Parliament votes in favour of creating the world’s first “Energy Islands”
A broad-based coalition representing 171 out of the 179 members of the Danish Parliament concluded a landmark climate agreement on June 22, 2020, in favour of the government's proposal to develop two offshore wind "Energy Islands". The deal will quadruple Denmark’s total offshore wind energy capacity by 2030 and could meet the electricity demand of 7.7 million European households.
In December 2019, the Danish Parliament agreed on a Climate Act that obligates Denmark to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. Consequently, Denmark must reduce its emission by 20 million tons CO2e by 2030. The Climate Act was enacted on June 19, 2020.
To meet this target, the Government is pursuing a Climate Action Plan that will require emission reduction across all sectors, including agriculture and transportation. The first chapter of the Climate Action Plan, reducing emissions from the waste sector by 0.7 million tonnes CO2e, was concluded on June 16, 2020.
The agreement reached on Energy Islands will reduce an additional 2.7 million tonnes CO2e, thus totaling 3.4 million tonnes.
Another 6 GW of offshore power
In total the plan sees the construction of 6 GW offshore wind energy of which 5 GW will be based on the Energy Islands, bringing Denmark’s total capacity to 7.7 GW by 2030. The Energy Islands, one in the North Sea and one in the Baltic Sea, will act as hubs, allowing the connection of several offshore wind farms, distributing power between the countries connected to the island.
By creating the world’s first two energy islands and by investing in sustainable fuels, we are making a crucial contribution to the international fight against climate change. I hope that this agreement will show other nations that climate action and economic recovery go hand-in-hand. I am thrilled that we have concluded this agreement and would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the parties behind it, said Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities Dan Jørgensen.
Furthermore, the agreement will provide significant investments in the development of green hydrogen and carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies to produce sustainable electro-fuels (e-fuels) for aviation, shipping and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) using the so-called Power-to-X (PtX) technologies – the X denoting liquid or gaseous compounds such as ammonia, methanol or methane.
Transform the heat and transport sectors
The agreement will also transform the Danish heating sector by lowering taxes on renewables and incentivize the replacement of oil and gas heaters with heat pumps and district energy.
Furthermore, it will fund charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and help the industrial sector decarbonize through energy efficiency measures and increasing the use of renewable electricity and biogas.
By concluding this agreement, Denmark has proved itself to be a global leader in the green energy transition. Moreover, it paves the way for a green economic recovery by funding some of the greatest infrastructure investments on record. By creating the world’s first energy islands, we are now entering a new era of renewable energy production. Concurrently we will invest in sustainable fuels, a sustainable heating sector, and help decarbonize the industrial sector. I am extremely proud that we have managed to conclude a broad-based agreement that not only moves Denmark closer to reaching our national climate goal but also creates numerous jobs in the years to come, said Minister for Finance Nicolai Wammen.
In the latter half of 2020, the Government will start the political discussions on reducing emissions from agriculture and transportation.