Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left the EU in a new geopolitical situation and the need for sustainable solutions and more renewable energy is more urgent than ever. Denmark holds some of the keys to securing European energy independence from Russia. In a new proposal, the Danish government aims to harvest the full potential of offshore wind and accelerate the production of renewable energy on land to ensure Danish and European independence from Russian fossil fuels.
”Denmark and Europe must be free of Russian fossil fuels as fast as possible. To help achieve this, Denmark will accelerate its green transition by massively increasing the deployment of much more renewable energy on land as well as at sea. The North Sea holds the wind potential to cover the energy need of millions of European homes. This great offshore wind potential must be harvested and therefore, the Danish government begins preparations for additional energy islands along with the ones already planned,” says Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen.
Denmark wants to harvest the full potential of offshore wind to create green energy for Europe. A provisional estimate shows an initial demand for at least 35 GW of offshore wind from the Danish parts of the North Sea. This is approx. the same amount of offshore wind energy that was installed on a global level in 2020.
Denmark already plans to build the world’s first energy island in the North Sea. At maximum capacity, the hub will be able to power 10 million European households with clean energy from its surrounding wind farms. Another energy hub will be established on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea with a capacity of 2 GW.
Independence from Russian fossil fuels also means a swift phase-out of natural gas by increasing the rollout of district heating and installation of electric heat pumps. Furthermore, a green tax reform will contribute to phasing out gas in the industry. Denmark will scale up and bring forward the production of renewable gas as well as contribute with natural gas from the North Sea to accelerate European energy independence from Russia.
In the EU, Denmark will also push for higher targets for renewables and energy efficiency, as these measures are key – both in order to address the climate crisis and to make the EU fit for energy independence.
- The initiatives of more renewable energy, a phase-out of natural gas, and more renewable gas are all part of a larger joint proposal from the Danish government
- The purpose of the proposal is to accelerate Denmark’s green transition and free Denmark of Russian fossil fuels as fast as possible
- The phase-out of natural gas will be done by increasing the rollout of district heating and installation of green heat pumps. Furthermore, a green tax reform will contribute to phasing out gas in the industry
- Earlier in April, Denmark and 10 other EU Member States co-signed a statement in which the countries urge the EU to speed up and increase the climate ambitions in the Fit for 55 negotiations to quit Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible
- Today, Russia supplies roughly 30 percent of Europe’s gas. The European Commission estimates that the demand for Russian gas can be reduced by two-thirds in the EU before the end of 2022 and that Europe can be fully independent of Russian fossil fuels well before 2030.
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