An energy island the size of 18 football pitches is an excellent place to start if you have ambitions to be innovative in the energy sector in 2021.
2021 has barely begun and innovation in the energy sector is already setting the agenda in a big way. An energy island is to be built 80 km out in the North Sea, which will be the anchorage of the wind energy that will supply 3 million households in the future. The DKK 210 billion price tag corresponds to five Great Belt Bridges, and with an area of 120,000 square metres (approximately 18 football pitches), the energy island is literally an enormous innovation. Incredible!
The bar has now been set for all of us who work with innovation in the energy sector.
Our moon landing
Troels Ranis, Industry Director at DI Energi, has called the project the Danish moon landing, and this reflects very well what we are comparing this to. It’s huge!
The energy island is starting as 120,000 square metres and 3 GW, and it can be expanded to triple that: 460,000 square metres, which can supply as many as 10 million households. By then, the island will be twice as large as Slotsholmen, which is the island in Copenhagen’s harbour where the Danish Parliament is located and where it was decided to go ahead with the project. Furthermore, it will affect the green transition far beyond Denmark’s borders, helping to spread our vision of a sustainable energy supply and significantly expand Danish companies’ leading position in wind energy.
Innovation is the way forward
When I think back to 2017 and the annual meeting of Offshoreenergy.dk, a forerunner of Energy Cluster Denmark, I clearly remember how Energinet’s Technical Director, Torben Glar Nielsen presented the vision of an energy island in the North Sea to our members.
It was astonishing, it was visionary, it was incredible – maybe it was even out of this world!
There are indications that we are heading that way.
While we are anxiously awaiting news about the practicalities and technology behind the new island, it is worth celebrating that we can decide to invest so massively in an innovative vision.
It shows there is support for innovative solutions to our challenges, and I look forward to many more small and large moon landings in the coming years. We need them, also, on the light green island.
The energy island must not only supply 10 million households with electricity, but the ambition is that facilities on the island over time will also be able to store energy and make green fuels for planes, ships and lorries. We are not there yet, but we know that the road to it is paved with innovation.
Fasten your seat belt!