Wind turbines at sea

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Germany and Denmark today agreed to work closer together on the expansion of offshore wind energy and innovative energy islands. Such energy islands (‘energy hubs’) help increase the supply of green electricity, and also of green hydrogen, and thus advance power-to-X technologies. Both countries are thus taking an important step in order to reach the objectives of the EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy. The Strategy aims to increase the installed offshore wind capacity in Europe fivefold from 12 GW today to 60 GW by 2030, and afterwards again fivefold to 300 GW by 2050.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: “Joint offshore wind projects will make a major contribution on our path towards a climate-neutral Europe. For this reason, they are one of the priorities of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. We now need to identify and advance specific projects together with our neighbours. It is important for me to agree on a framework which ensures that both countries will benefit. Such offshore wind projects can also help to create synergies for the production of green hydrogen.”

The Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, said: “Last week, Denmark decided to phase out oil and gas production by 2050. Today, Denmark and Germany are taking another step forward by strengthening their cooperation in order to jointly develop and connect offshore wind energy hubs. As a consequence, power generation based on renewable energy will increase considerably in both countries. In addition, this is a precondition for the power-to-X technologies which can produce sustainable fuels for shipping and aviation. For this purpose, Denmark is working towards constructing two offshore hubs with a total capacity of five GW.”

The agreement between the two countries marks the beginning of further cooperation to identify joint projects and their possible design. This includes possible cooperation in the field of energy islands (‘energy hubs’) in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Denmark intends to construct two energy islands by 2030 with a total capacity of at least 5 GW. In the long term, Denmark wants to construct energy islands in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea with offshore wind farms with a total capacity of twelve GW. The aim is also to examine the possibility of using electricity from offshore wind farms for the production of green hydrogen.

The two countries have been cooperating on the expansion of offshore wind energy for quite some time: in the context of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the cooperation in the Baltic Sea, they work together with other states bordering the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and with the European Commission to advance the expansion of offshore wind energy. The bilateral agreement is an important first step to explore specific joint projects. It builds on the experience gained by both countries in the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm project in the Baltic Sea, which was the first project of its kind. According to Minster Altmaier and Minister Jørgensen, further bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects are necessary in the long term in order to achieve climate neutrality in Europe.

The video conference of the Ministers of the EU responsible for energy and a Ministerial Meeting of the North Seas Energy Cooperation also took place today. In the context of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Council conclusions fostering European cooperation in offshore and other renewable energies and the Council conclusions towards a hydrogen market for Europe were adopted in the run-up to these meetings.

You can find the signed Letter of Intent here.