Plans have been drawn up to create a man-made island in the North Sea between Britian and Denmark, capable of providing renewable energy to parts of Northern Europe.
The island would be home to a small workforce
The 25 square mile (65 square km) island would be home to a small workforce and feature roads, workshops, trees, and an artificial lake with a beach. Alongside the 7,000 or so wind turbines would be an airport, a sea port capable of accommodating tankers, a control tower and terminal.
Once fully functional the island would provide power for more than 80 million people
The idea had first been proposed by a consortium of energy companies from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. The £1.1 billion (€1.27bn/$1.37bn) project was passed by Brussels on March 23 after already being backed by EU chiefs.
Discussions with other potential partners are ongoing, which not only include other North Sea transmission system operators, but also other infrastructure companies. The goal is to achieve a multi-party consortium which will realise the North Sea Wind Power Hub project.
Once fully functional the island would provide power for more than 80 million people and has been designed as part of plans to meet European targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“Power Link Islands” could generate up to 100 megawatts of power
By developing the North Sea Wind Power Hub, TenneT and Energinet.dk want to make the energy transition both feasible and affordable. Central to the plan is the construction of one or more islands (so-called Power Link Islands) with interconnections to surrounding countries, in the middle of the North Sea (Dogger Bank):
- to which many wind farms can be connected (possibly 70,000 MW to 100,000 MW);
- from where the generated wind energy can be distributed and transmitted over direct current lines to the North Sea countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium;
- where transmission cables will simultaneously function as interconnectors between the energy markets of the aforementioned countries. Besides transmitting wind electricity to the connected countries, these ‘wind connectors’ will enable the countries to trade electricity;
- where wind conditions are optimal.
North Sea Wind Power Hub: Vision
Solar energy and wind energy will be necessary on a large scale because achievement of the European targets for reducing CO2 emissions hinges largely on electricity produced sustainably. Wind and solar energy complement each other: there is more sun from spring to autumn, and more wind in the colder and darker months of the year. So a sustainable and stable energy system for the future will need solar and wind energy, both on a large scale. This requires optimum cooperation and synergy because it cannot be accomplished by individual member states on their own. The European political declaration of 6 June 2016 on energy cooperation between the North Sea countries was an important step in this direction.
The future of North Sea Wind Power Hubs
Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, said of the ambitious scheme: "This project can significantly contribute to a completely renewable supply of electricity in Northwest Europe. TenneT and Energinet.dk both have extensive experience in the fields of onshore grids, the connection of offshore wind energy and cross-border connections. Transmision systems operators (TSOs) are best placed to play a leading role in the long-term development of the offshore infrastructure. I am happy that we are going to take this step with our Danish colleagues and I look forward to the participation of other transmission system operators and possibly other partners."
Peder Østermark Andreasen, CEO of Energinet.dk said of the project: "Offshore wind has in recent years proved to be increasingly competitive and it is important to us to constantly focus on further reduction in prices of grid connections and interconnections. We need innovative and large-scale projects so that offshore wind can play an even bigger part in our future energy supply."
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