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Denmark secures backing for $34bn clean energy island in North Sea

An illustration of the island: Danish Energy Agency.
An illustration of the island: Danish Energy Agency.

The government has secured broad political backing for Denmark’s largest ever construction project, a 210 billion krone ($34 billion) man-made ‘energy island’ and hundreds of offshore wind mills that will deliver clean electricity and help the country achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The 120,000-square-meter artificial island will rise 80 kilometers off the western coast, in the North Sea, and will host key infrastructure needed for a planned expansion of Denmark’s offshore wind farms.

The project, which includes several connected offshore wind farms, is expected to be completed by 2033.

It will initially be able to supply 3 gigawatts of electricity, enough to cover 3 million households, though planners want to eventually raise that total to 10 gigawatts.

“Today we have taken a big step from vision to reality,” Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said. The decision creates the framework for a crucial project in the green transition, “not only for Denmark but also for Europe and the rest of the world,” he said in a statement.

Denmark has pledged to cut its carbon emission by 70% compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and wants to be carbon neutral by 2050. The Nordic country, which already obtains more than 40% of its electricity from wind power, is home to the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, and the world’s top developer of offshore wind parks, Orsted A/S.

The government says public money will be used to pay for at least half the costs of constructing the island (11 billion kroner). Financing for the wind farms and the transmission systems will be finalized at a later stage.

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