Denmark will increase its planned offshore wind capacity in the Baltic Sea to three gigawatts and hook it up to the German grid, a step toward weaning Europe off its reliance on Russian gas. When the new capacity is in place in 2030, it should be able to supply electricity to up 4.5 million European homes.
A 470-kilometre (292-mile) undersea cable will run via the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm to northern Germany, enabling the power to be sent directly to the German electricity grid and on to the rest of Europe, The Canadian Press reports.
At present, Denmark and Germany have offshore wind capacities of 1.5 and one gigawatt, respectively.
“With such projects among European partners, we achieve two key goals at the same time: European energy security and climate neutrality,” said German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck. The deal was announced Monday in Copenhagen.
“International cooperation is more urgent than ever before to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to make Europe independent from Russian gas and oil,” added Danish climate and energy minister Dan Jørgensen.
On Friday, German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock cited estimates that wind from the Baltic Sea can produce “more than twice the installed capacity of all German coal-fired power stations.” The countries around the Baltic “need to set the sails, work together, and set course towards making our region more sustainable, more resilient, and more secure,” she said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said his country remains committed to ending its greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, the earliest of any major industrialized nation. To meet that goal, his government has said it will close coal-fired power plants that were reactivated due to the war in Ukraine, end imports of Russian oil and coal this year, and aim to stop using Russian gas within the next two years.
Monday’s announcement came a day before a meeting in Copenhagen to discuss ways “to make the Baltic Sea region free of Russian energy, and at the same time pave the way for a significant green transition,” according to a Danish government release.
Those expected to attend on Tuesday included the president of the European Union’s executive commission, the president of Lithuania, the prime ministers of Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Denmark, and several energy ministers.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 29, 2022.