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Germany, Denmark to share green future

By ANGUS McNEICE in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-09-01 09:39
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Nations will collaborate on huge new project to help ensure energy security

Germany and Denmark have agreed to construct a so-called energy island in the Baltic Sea that will power the equivalent of 4.5 million homes and reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels.

The project, which will come online in 2030, will consist of a series of off shore wind farms connected to high-voltage stations on Bornholm, a small Danish island in the Baltic Sea with a population of less than 40,000.

The island will act as a central hub, distributing energy via underwater cables to Denmark and Germany as well as future partners, which are expected to include Sweden and Poland.

The 9-billion-euro ($8.9 billion) project entered the consultation phase in Denmark three years ago, and the German government agreed on Monday to jointly build the power stations on Bornholm, as well as a 470-kilometer cable from the island to Germany.

The project will eventually provide 3 gigawatts of off shore wind power, which is three times the current installed off shore capacity for Germany and double that of Denmark.

Germany's minister of economic affairs and climate action, Robert Habeck, said the project will help the country achieve climate goals and also decrease reliance on fossil fuel imports, which have been majorly disrupted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"With such projects among European partners, we achieve two key goals at the same time: European energy security and climate neutrality," Habeck said.

Germany usually imports more than half of its gas and coal and more than one-third of its oil from Russia. On Monday, Russian energy company Gazprom announced that no gas would run through its main European pipeline for a period of three days, citing routine maintenance.

The Nord Stream 1 has run on reduced capacity for much of the summer, and Russia says that it is impossible to run the pipeline effectively, since foreign sanctions have delayed the repair and return of turbines that are made and serviced abroad.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has urged leaders in the region to stockpile fuel in preparation for "a major cutoff of Russian gas, or a total cut-off of Russian gas" this winter.

In the long term, several European nations are seeking to speed up domestic green energy development.

Germany recently announced plans to double renewable power capacity during the next eight years.

This expedited development has benefited renewable energy powerhouses including Denmark, which is one of the world's leading suppliers and manufacturers of wind turbines.

Dan Jorgensen, who is Denmark's minister for climate, energy, and utilities, said the Bornholm project represents a "landmark in energy history", which comes at a time when "international cooperation is more urgent than ever before".

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