by Tina Olivero

    Tina Olivero, “Now there are two energy islands dedicated to offshore wind.”

    As part of the Danish climate agreement of June 2020, it was decided to build two energy islands, in the Baltic and North Seas respectively, linked to offshore wind farms that together can provide 5 GW and cover the electric consumption for approx. 5 million households in Denmark and nearby countries. The global engineering, architecture and consultancy company Ramboll has been awarded one of the first pilot climate and seabed studies for the coming energy islands.

    Danes were recently introduced to a new concept, ’energy island’ which refers to an existing island, an artificial (physical) island or platform that functions as a hub for electricity production from nearby offshore wind farms, to be collected and distributed to one or more countries.

    The energy company, Energinet, has now asked Ramboll to map and recommend possible submerged cable routes and landing locations for the export of power from the future energy island near Bornholm, to Denmark and an adjacent country.

    ”The project is of major strategic importance since the result will help form the basis for decisions about import and export of energy from the new energy island, as well as how renewable energy from the islands will interconnect the countries. This will be vital when all Europeans need green energy,” says Mikkel Benthien Kristensen, Global Division Director for Environmental Impact Assessments at Ramboll.

    The energy islands represent a whole new era for renewable energy and will make Denmark the frontrunner within advanced utilisation of offshore wind. These projects are crucial for Denmark, because the green energy from the energy islands can meet the growing electricity consumption in a climate-friendly Danish society, but also for Europe in general, when the green power is exported and thus contributes to the European green transition.

    Ramboll’s long-term and extensive experience with cable route planning and environmental feasibility studies internationally from projects such as the Viking Link electricity interconnector between Jutland and England, and the Baltic Pipe gas transmission system were among the reasons for choosing Ramboll. These projects are complex and cross-disciplinary in nature and thus will be solved as a cooperation between many different specialists. Ramboll’s project team therefore draws on 15 experts from Ramboll in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

    This work creates the groundwork for subsequent investigations and approval of the project. The next step in the project for the energy island Bornholm will be to carry out the environmental feasibility studies to ensure that the energy island has as few negative consequences as possible for the marine environment and surrounding nature.

    The energy islands mark the beginning of a new era for the generation of energy from offshore wind, aimed at creating a green energy supply for Danish and foreign electricity grids. Operating as green power plants at sea, the islands are expected to play a major role in the phasing-out of fossil fuel energy sources in Denmark and Europe.

    • The plan envisages the establishment of an artificial island in the North Sea that will serve as a hub for offshore wind farms supplying 3 GW of energy, with a long-term expansion potential of 10 GW.
    • The energy island in the Baltic Sea will be Bornholm, where electrotechnical facilities on the island will serve as a hub for offshore wind farms off the coast supplying 2 GW of energy.

    Denmark has a long history of exploiting the strong winds from the sea to produce electricity. They constructed the world’s first offshore wind farm in 1991.

    The Danish Energy Agency is now drawing on domestic expert knowledge as well as extensive experience and skills in this field with a view to taking a historic and ambitious step on the road to phasing out fossil fuels. 

    After political agreement on the energy islands have been reached, the Danish Energy Agency are playing a key role in leading the project that will transform the two energy islands from a vision to reality. The islands are a pioneer project that will necessitate the deployment of existing knowledge into an entirely new context.

    Working together with well-established actors in the industry and the highest level of expertise in the field, our goal is to find the best solutions to the aspects of the project that remain unsolved. They are exchanging knowledge, performing quality assurance on solutions and working every day to further the green transition and ensure a reliable supply of electricity to Danish power sockets.

    About Ramboll
    Ramboll is a global engineering, architecture and consultancy company founded in Denmark in 1945. Their 16,000 experts create sustainable solutions across Buildings; Transport; Water; Environment & Health; Architecture, Landscape & Urbanism; Energy and Management Consulting. Across the world, Ramboll combines local experience with a global knowledgebase to create sustainable cities and societies. They combine insights with the power to drive positive change to our clients, in the form of ideas that can be realised and implemented. They call it: Bright ideas. Sustainable change.

    THANK YOU FOR: Content, Sources and Photos:
    Ramboll Denmark,
    Danish Energy Agency

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