The Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities, Lars Christian Lilleholt, plans to significantly increase Danish offshore wind power fivefold, as part of the government's efforts to transition towards a more sustainable and renewable energy system. This follows the announcement on February 7 of the cancellation of the open-door procedure. The government and authorities are working to ensure that there is a quick clarification on whether offshore wind turbine projects under the open door scheme are in breach of EU law. But parallel to the dialogue with the EU Commission, Climate, Energy and Supply Minister Lars Aagaard is now announcing that he will start putting 9 GW of offshore wind out to tender this year via state tenders.
Currently, Denmark has an offshore wind power capacity of 1.7 GW, which is generated by wind turbines located in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. However, the country has ambitious plans to increase this capacity to a total of 7.7 GW by 2030. This is a significant increase, and achieving this target will require significant investments in renewable energy infrastructure. To help achieve this target, the Danish government has developed a comprehensive strategy that includes a range of measures to support the growth of the offshore wind industry. These measures include the establishment of a new offshore wind test centre, the development of new port facilities to support the industry, and the introduction of new financial incentives to attract private investment in renewable energy projects.
The climate fund Just Climate, backed by Al Gore as its co-founder, has put SEK 300 million in new capital towards the Swedish upstart renewable energy company Meva Energy, thereby becoming the largest owner. Dagens Industri writes that the Gothenburg-based company rejoiced at the news, with CEO Niclas Davidsson stating that the company’s big breakthrough was finally happening as the company welcomed not only a new majority owner and hundreds of millions in new capital, but also the delivery of two new contracts. The company was founded in 2008 and ever since has developed a technology that involves converting biogenic waste products in industry into renewable gas. The two large contracts, each said to be worth in the order of SEK 200-250 million, have previously been entered into by Meva Energy with Ikea Industry and with Italian Sofidel, one of Europe's largest tissue manufacturers. "In both cases, it's about us building facilities that we own and operate in connection with the two companies' factories and then we sell renewable energy to the customers through ten-year agreements," explained Niclas Davidsson. Through the new capital contribution from Just Climate, Meva Energy expects to both be able to partially finance the new facilities for IKEA and Sofidel, and to be able to start on an international expansion.
The Swedish Minister for Energy, Ebba Busch, has now stated that the country needs to install more wind turbines to address its growing energy demands. Wind power accounts for 17% of Sweden's electricity production, with hydropower providing 43% and nuclear power 31%. Busch also sees new nuclear power supporting the growth of wind energy. The Swedish Energy Agency has reported that the main obstacle to further wind power developments is social acceptance, particularly in southern Sweden, where more municipalities have vetoed wind farm proposals. Busch has pledged to simplify permit processes to attract more investment, but also warned that Sweden will not exchange its forests for "steel forests".
Neoen, a French renewable energy company, plans to invest one billion euros in Sweden in order to reach its green energy goals. Neoen is set to begin building its first Swedish solar park in Hultsfred this summer, which will produce enough electricity to power 16,000 homes and has already signed up H&M as a customer. The company is also waiting for permission for other projects in Sweden, including a solar park in Vapnö in Halland, and has signed a ten-year power purchase agreement for a wind farm in Storbrännkullen. According to Neoen’s co-founder, Xavier Barbaro, there is significant demand for renewable electricity in Sweden in the coming decades, but the country's long permit processes can be frustrating.
ExxonMobil, an American oil and gas company, is planning to produce one billion cubic feet of blue hydrogen per day, using Danish Topsoe's SynCOR technology in a facility in Texas. The hydrogen will serve as fuel for ExxonMobil's Bayton olefins plant and is expected to enable up to a 30% reduction in emissions. The plant is planned to start operations in 2027 or 2028, with the final investment decision to be made in 2024. The investment for the project will come from the seven billion dollars ExxonMobil has earmarked for hydrogen, carbon capture, storage, and biofuels between 2022 and 2027.
Solar company Soltech Energy's Dutch subsidiary 365zon has won a SEK 67 million deal with Netherland’s largest home owner organisation. As part of the deal, 365zon will install solar panels on 1,000 villas during the first and second quarter of this year.
Eurowind Energy, a Danish renewable energy company, has established a new competence centre for biogas to complement its existing solar, wind, and Power-to-x (PtX) competence centres. The company plans to establish large energy centres with various technologies to support different needs, and it sees biogas as an important building block for these centres. The company is currently developing eight biogas projects in Denmark, and the ambition is to develop a global pipeline of biogas projects. Eurowind Energy plans to use straw and other biomaterial to produce biogas, preserving nutrients and returning them to the soil. The gas will be produced without excessive use of accelerators, and the company plans to process the gases further, most likely in combination with hydrogen, to produce e-fuels, methanol, and other products for industrial production. Ed: this comes at a time when the global biogas market is seen as increasingly attractive, with Shell acquisition of Denmark's Nature Energy one recent example.
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The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.