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Thirty years ago Denmark became the first country to build an offshore wind farm.

Now, Denmark is looking to advance its clean-energy prowess by becoming the first country to build a so-called “energy island” in the North Sea.

Goodbye, Oily History
Despite a history of wind innovation and a blond population known to favor bikes over SUVs, Denmark is actually the European Union’s largest oil producer.

The Danes are looking to shed that title. Last year Denmark voted to end new licenses for oil and gas exploration projects in the North Sea. They also committed to reducing the country’s CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030.

The Energy Hub: Last week the Danish government greenlit the energy island — a $34 billion project located 50 miles off Denmark’s windy coast. Hailed as the largest development project in Denmark’s history, the artificial island will initially be the size of 18 football fields and have a capacity of three gigawatts (enough for roughly three million households):

  • The hub will collect energy from 200 wind turbines and distribute it to Denmark and surrounding countries via the grid.
  • A second round of development would be able to process enough energy for 10 million European households.

Last week Denmark’s Social Democrat government agreed to take a 51% stake in the project with the remainder to be held by the private sector.

The Takeaway: The price of permits on the European Union carbon market has soared to record levels in early 2021, hiking costs for polluters. The green wave is here.


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