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Denmark

Energy Sector:Offshore Wind, Hydrogen

Category:Strategic Markets

Region/Province:n.a.

Denmark has a long history of developing and using renewable energy. The rise of the renewable industry dated back to mid-1970s, as Danish government decided to focus on bioenergy and wind power amid the oil crisis. High willingness of the population and long-term investment and favorable policy are the main reasons for the success of the Danish renewable industry.

In the Climate Act which became effective in 2019, the Danish government has set the binding goal to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 and to become 100% independent from fossil fuels by 2050. The PtX strategy of 2021 defines the framework conditions for PtX, facilitating the contribution of PtX technologies to the objectives of the Danish Climate Act, the realization of their commercial potential and their integration into the Danish energy system. In this strategy, PtX is a blanket term for a number of technologies that are all based on using renewable energy to produce hydrogen.

Wind Energy

Geographically, 7,000 km coastal lines offer the best conditions for deploying offshore wind power. Denmark has been taking a leading position in the global wind market for many years. Today, wind power accounts for nearly 50% of the national electricity production, making Denmark one of the countries with the highest share of wind energy in its energy mix. By 2050, Denmark plans to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources, with wind energy playing a crucial role in achieving this target. To this end, the Danish government has defined an ambition to quadruple the offshore wind capacity to 13 GW by 2030.

Danish wind companies such as Ørsted and Vestas are global leaders and innovators in offshore wind. Along with many other component suppliers, service providers and knowledge institutions, they form a strong wind value chain with technologies and services which can cover all different phases of the wind project.

Hydrogen

With large wind resources and the planned massive expansion of offshore wind capacity, Denmark aims to become a leading green hydrogen producer in Europe. The government targets to scale up production and use of green hydrogen in fossil-fuel-reliant industries like shipping, aviation, and heavy transport.

Moreover, exports of green hydrogen will be promoted, and the country will become a global player in promoting technologies for the conversion of surplus generated power into hydrogen via electrolysis. The Danish Power-to- strategy (PtX) of 2021 sets an electrolyzer capacity target of between 4-6 GW by 2030.

Export to Germany will take place via pipelines as part of the European Hydrogen Backbone.  Hamburg as a large industrial consumption area for hydrogen will be connected to the green hydrogen production sites in western Denmark (Jutland) via the so-called hyperlink III. On the Danish side, Energinet will build the transmission pipeline – on behalf of the future hydrogen network operator (s). In Germany, Gasunie will develop the hyperlink III section.  

Hydrogen should be used to decarbonize various industrial sectors. Here comes a selection of use cases:

  • E-fuels for shipping: Among the most prominent projects are the Maersk projects: June 2023 Maersk (Maersk) has made an order of six mid-sized container vessels – all having dual-fuel engines able to operate on green1 methanol. Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group will build the six 9,000 TEU vessels which will be delivered in 2026 and 2027. All of them have dual fuel engines, making them able to operate on both fuel oil and methanol. In 2021, Maersk ordered the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel following a commitment to the principle of only ordering new built vessels that can sail on green fuels. Just two years later, the global orderbook stands at more than 100 methanol-enabled vessels. By ordering additional six vessels, Maersk now has 25 methanol-enabled vessels on order. Later this summer, the first methanol-enabled vessel, a 2,100 TEU feeder vessel, will be delivered to Maersk.

  • E-fuels for aviation: the first commercial e-fuels-for-aviation plant in Denmark is on schedule for 2026. Arcadia e-fuels, Sasol and Topsoe have signed a single license agreement for Arcadia’s Vordingborg e-fuels plant. Once operational, the plant will deliver e-fuels for the Danish and European aviation markets to help meet the European Union mandate of 1.2% RFNBO or eFuels in 2030.

  • Hydrogen fuel stations for HDV: Greater4H Project: A hydrogen corridor between Oslo and Hamburg. GREATER4H has received 12.4 million euros from the EU program Connecting Europe Facility to build a cross-border network of 14 hydrogen refueling stations in Germany, Denmark and Sweden (4+4+4 plus 2 privately financed stations in Norway). Every 150 km. HDV infrastructure. Partners Everfuel, GP Joule, Hynion plus 10 public associated partners (local and regional authorities).

Esbjerg Declaration

In May 2022, the Ministers of Energy from Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands met at the North Sea Summit at the port of Esbjerg and announced closer cooperation on turning North Sea into a green power plant. The joint agreement set the goal of developing offshore wind capacity of 65 GW by 2030 and at least 150 GW by 2050, more than half the capacity required to achieve climate neutrality according to the “EU strategy on Offshore Wind Renewable Energy”. The expansion of offshore wind will also contribute to green hydrogen production, which is expected to reach a combined target of 20 GW production capacity by 2030.

Marienborg Declaration

The Marienborg Declaration, which was signed in August 2022 by 8 countries around the Baltic Sea, is committed to increasing the offshore wind installation capacity in the Baltic Sea to 20 GW by 2030. The potential for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea remains largely untapped, and it is estimated at 96 GW. Until now, Denmark and Germany have been first movers in developing offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea with a combined installed capacity of over 2 GW, which is equivalent to 75% of the current total capacity in the Baltic Sea.

Joint Declaration of Intent on green hydrogen cooperation and a hydrogen pipeline

The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities of Denmark signed on 24th March 2023 a „Joint Declaration on the cooperation on green hydrogen and the realization of a land-based border crossing hydrogen pipeline between Northern Germany and Western Denmark. It shall reconfirm and reinforce the participants bilateral cooperation on green hydrogen. With the ambition to improve the integration of the Danish and German energy systems, and bearing in mind, that the aim is a market-driven roll out of hydrogen infrastructure, the participants will cooperate on advancing the roll-out of transmission infrastructure for green hydrogen between Western Denmark and Northern Germany from the year of 2028, enabling a large-scale transmission interconnector for green hydrogen between Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Following the Esbjerg Declaration, EEHH signed the “North Sea Cluster Cooperation” with 6 European energy networks incl. Energy Cluster Denmark to foster and strengthen cluster cooperation in innovation and technology transfer by involving member companies as a way to support the EU’s in achieving the ambitious expansion targets of renewable energies (offshore wind and hydrogen) in the North Sea.

Energy Islands

Energy Islands are the central piece of the Danish strategy for developing offshore wind and achieving energy transition.

The Energy Island in the North Sea will be established 80 km off the Danish coast, and it has an area which is equivalent of 16 football fields. The island will be designed as an energy center to transmit offshore wind power into the electricity grid as well as a service point for the offshore wind farms. By 2030, about 4 GW of offshore wind capacity will be installed, and it has the potential to supply 10 GW of green power in the long run. Large-scale hydrogen production facilities will be established on the island, which will be able to convert renewable energy into green hydrogen. A pipeline will be used to transport green hydrogen to northwestern Europe (e.g. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium), where significant demand is expected.

The Energy Island in the Baltic Sea will be similarly conceptualized, and the only difference is it Bornholm which is known as a holiday resort, will be converted to an energy hub. With the electrotechnical facilities which will be set up on Bornholm, the green power from the offshore wind farms will be routed to the grid on the mainland. The offshore wind power is expected to reach an installed capacity of 3 GW.

Both Energy Islands are not only set to supply millions of Danish households with a huge amount of green electricity, but also transmit it to other European countries around the North and Baltic Sea, such as Germany. Furthermore, the use of surplus wind-generated power will be used for the purpose of P-t-X technologies and green hydrogen production. The offshore production and transport of green hydrogen in pipelines to the shores are considered to be technically and economically viable.

Germany and Denmark have signed a cooperation agreement to jointly invest and build the infrastructure and offshore wind farm around Energy Island in the Baltic Sea. German and Danish transmission system operators 50 Hertz and Energinet will work together on establishing the connection (offshore converter stations and transmission grid) from Energy Island Bornholm to the land of Germany and Denmark.

Greater4H

Green Hydrogen Hub Denmark

Annual Event of WindEurope