Denmark’s political class were euphoric at the announcement of an inter-party agreement to build an energy island off the coast of Denmark. In a broad deal struck on Wednesday night, the Social Democrat government agreed with its support parties and the rightwing opposition that the state should hold a 51% stake in the island, with the remainder held by the private sector. “This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition,” Denmark’s climate minister, Dan Jørgensen, said in a statement.
The project builds on an inter-party deal struck in June on energy policy, in which the parties agreed to construct two wind energy hubs, one artificial and another centred on the Baltic island of Bornholm.
The new island will have an area of 120,000m2 – the size of 18 football pitches, and in its first phase will be able to provide 3m households with green energy. It will be protected from North Sea storms on three sides by a high sea wall, with a dock for service vessels taking up the fourth side. At full-scale, it will support up to 650 windmills, each up to 260m high.
The Danish Energy Agency said in a statement that the long-term ambition for the project was to be able to store green electricity on the island, convert it to liquid green fuel, and send it via subsea cables to Denmark and neighboring countries.
The project will cost DKK 210 billion (€28 billion), making it easily the biggest in Denmark’s history, and tripling Denmark’s current installed offshore wind with 5 GW of new capacity, to be later expanded to as much as 12 GW, sufficient to supply electricity to 20 million homes. In the text of the agreement, the parties warn that the North Sea island might be difficult to complete before 2033, meaning it might not help Denmark reach its ambitious 2030 target of cutting GHG emissions by 70% from 1990 levels.
Jørgensen told The Guardian, “the 10GW when this is finalised will be producing far, far more clean energy than we can use as a country, so this is part of a strategy to help other countries meet their targets.” He said construction of the island was expected to start in 2026, with the next five years spent signing up private sector partners, carrying out environmental impact assessments on the sea bed, and signing deals to connect the two energy islands to Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. “The economic feasibility of the projects are dependent on us making those connections, because it’s far more than we can use ourselves,” he said.
US automaker General Motors on Wednesday released its Super Bowl ad that promotes the company’s “aspiration” to only sell zero-emissions light-duty vehicles by 2035. It features Will Ferrell smashing his fist through a globe when he realises Norway has a higher number of electric vehicles per person than the US. Ferrell goes on a trip to Norway to “crush those lugers” at their own game, and ordered 5 million anchovy pizzas sent to each Norwegian.
Whilst humorous, the ad underlines the serious point that the US is miles behind Norway, which has 6.5% EVs in its fleet, compared with only 0.3% in the US. Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg was relaxed on learning the news, wishing that the US would overtake Norway (that’s unlikely, as Norwegian car sales are 52% EVs, compared with 2% in the US). She fired back on Twitter that she preferred pineapple pizza.
Karlstads Energi and Bioshare AB will build a demonstration plant for bio-based chemicals and renewable fuels, using Karlstads Energi existing boilers. Currently, Karlstads Energi's two Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants produce both renewable electricity and renewable district heating from these forest bi-products The idea is to connect a reactor to the boiler in one of the plants, and to circulate hot sand from the boiler to a reactor, where wood fuel will also supplied. The reactor will be an oxygen-free environment, enabling pyrolysis or gasification of the wood to take place with the help of the hot sand, which is then returned to the boiler together with wood residue.
During the pilot project, the gas generated by the plant will be returned and burned in the boiler. However, samples will be taken to confirm their usefulness for chemicals production and to further develop the process. The project's budget is SEK 34 million, half of which is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.
TECO 2030 has signed a Strategic Cooperation Agreement with Thecla Bodewes Shipyards NV to develop zero emission hydrogen-based fuel cell propulsion on all types of river going vessels, such as push tugs, dredgers, passenger and cargo ships and low-profile coasters. Tore Enger, CEO of TECO 2030 ASA said that “the partnership with Thecla Bodewes enables TECO 2030 to commercialize the TECO 2030 Marine Fuel Cell on newbuilds for inland waterway transport. This is just the beginning of TECO 2030 becoming a major provider of marine fuel cell systems.“
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 clip the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary, in English. Mundus was founded in 2012 to provide information and analysis to embassies accredited to Sweden. Today, we deliver news, analysis and media monitoring of the Nordic countries to the international community in the Nordics.