Energy islands for the world’s self-sufficient megacities
With the energy island in the North Sea, Denmark is taking an exemplary and ambitious step towards the green transition. On a global level, this energy island will be a leading example of how we can harvest and distribute offshore wind energy on a larger scale.
The long-term objective with the energy island in the North Sea is to produce green electricity for more than 10 million households. At the same time, the island must accommodate both known and new technologies for innovation such as Power to X. The vision is that the island will become a green powerhouse that inspires other countries to follow the same path and utilize the space and wind at sea to accelerate the production of renewable energy.
Energy Island New York
But how do we go from having a pioneering project in Denmark to copying and scaling the concept to other countries?
“You can say that we are building the world’s largest ‘minimal viable product’, which can be exported to other places in the world,” explains Head of Innovation at Sweco Architects, Karl-Martin Buch Frederiksen, and elaborates:
“A pioneering project like the energy island in the North Sea is characterized by many possibilities and the development of new knowledge in the meeting between many disciplines. In our work with conceptualizing the island and defining its functions and design, new ideas and perspectives arise all the time. The new knowledge we develop should, over time, enable us to refine the energy island in the North Sea as a ‘product’ rather than simply seeing the island as a one-off construction project,” he says.
“When we productize this island, we can streamline and scale the way we build it and thereby accelerate the speed and spread of similar islands in the rest of the world.”
“Imagine if the energy island in the North Sea could become a model for Energy Island New York or Energy Island Tokyo and contribute to making the world’s megacities self-sufficient with green electricity. Then we could truly contribute to a new green business adventure for Denmark and support the green energy transition globally,” he points out.
The Energy Island 2.0. An evolutionary perspective
The Danish state, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Supply and the Danish Energy Agency are behind the visionary idea of the energy island in the North Sea. With the long-time perspective from idea to implementation, the project will develop over time as stakeholders become smarter about opportunities, solutions and needs.
“Hopefully, the 2.0 version of the island entails an energy producing island that also solves other important climate issues such as maritime pollution, food production and energy storage as well as an innovation hub and a catalyst for new green technologies. We are already looking into all these scenarios on a global level,” says Karl-Martin Buch Frederiksen, head of innovation at Sweco Architects.
“Denmark’s idea of an energy island has opened people’s eyes to the idea of taking advantage of the unique opportunities that the sea and the wind provide. It will be incredibly exciting to see where that idea will take us 10 years from now. With the tnergy tsland in the North Sea, I have renewed faith that we can actually realize the green transition,” concludes Karl-Martin.