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Denmark announces the biggest offshore wind tender in Danish history

The Danish Energy Agency has published the frameworks for the largest offshore wind tender in Danish history. With a potential of 10 GW from six new offshore wind farms across the country, the tenders could generate green electricity for 10 million Danish and European households or support green hydrogen production.

Photo credit: Ørsted

Anholt offshore wind farm

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Wind energy plays a key role in reaching Denmark’s target of 70 % greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030. And with some of the best wind conditions in the world, it is easy to understand how Denmark has become a global hub for wind power technology.

Explore Danish wind energy

In 1991, Denmark became the first country in the world to install a commercial offshore wind park, when 11 turbines with a combined 5 MW capacity were installed in the shallow waters off the coast of Vindeby in the southeast of Denmark.

33 years later, Denmark takes a large step further with the biggest offshore tender in the country’s history, marking the beginning of potentially 6 new offshore wind farms in Denmark.

“Finally, we are able to publish the biggest offshore wind tender in Danish history. With hundreds of wind turbines, we are insuring ourselves against Putin’s black gas, and as of today Denmark is one large step closer to becoming Europe’s green powerhouse. When the wind turbines are operating, we can cover all of Denmark’s power consumption with green electricity – and we can produce hydrogen and green fuels for ships and planes. It is projects of this scale that can make a big, green difference for the climate and our security. Not just for Denmark, but for all of Europe,” Lars Aagaard, Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities

A step towards creating a green powerhouse

The green power produced will not only be used for Danish consumption but also be able to export to neighbouring countries and for green hydrogen production. The offshore wind farms can potentially deliver large amounts of green energy and thousands of jobs. It is an important step towards realising Denmark’s ambitions of becoming a green powerhouse in Europe, contributing to the green transition, European energy security, and independence from gas and fossil fuels.

The 6 tendered offshore wind farms, which were announced by the Danish Energy Agency on Monday 22 April, are located across Denmark in the areas of North Sea I, Kattegat, Kriegers Flak II, and Hesselø. The tenders follow the political agreement on tender frameworks from the spring of 2023.

Map showing the location of the new offshore wind farms

The yellow markings show the geographical location of Denmark’s 6 new offshore wind farms, divided into six sites in areas: North Sea I, the Kattegat, Kriegers Flak II and Hesselø. The wind farms holds a potential total capacity of at least 6 GW.

Photo credit: The Danish Energy Agency

Offshore wind tenders 22 april 2024

The offshore wind farms must deliver at least 6 GW, and as a new element, there will be freedom to establish as much offshore wind as possible on the tendered areas (with the exemption of Hesselø with a max. capacity of 1.2 GW). If the market utilises this freedom to optimise the usage of the areas, it could result in the construction of 10 GW offshore wind or more. While some of the energy can be used in Danish and European households, the energy can also support Denmark’s potential for green hydrogen export, which can be used for the transition of e.g. transport and industry. This is in line with the political agreement made at the beginning of April on the financial framework for hydrogen infrastructure.

Related news: One step closer to a Danish hydrogen backbone

Explore the world of green hydrogen

Green hydrogen and e-fuels play a vital role in advancing the green transition. Produced through electrolysis using renewable electricity, both are critical components in decarbonising industries and transportation globally.

Explore green hydrogen and e-fuels

Big potential for green electricity and hydrogen production

Besides the 6 GW, tenderers have the possibility of overplanting, meaning tenderers can erect more wind turbines, with an opportunity to establish up to 10 GW or more on the sites. This can potentially mean green electricity corresponding to the consumption of more than 10 million Danish and European households, although the green electricity could also be used for hydrogen or other Power-to-X products to replace fossil fuels.

“We’re delighted to announce the largest offshore wind procurement procedure in Denmark to date. This is a massive investment in the green transition,” Kristoffer Böttzauw, Director General, Danish Energy Agency.

Denmark today has a total installed capacity of 2.7 GW offshore wind power, and the Thor Offshore Wind Farm currently under construction in the North Sea will supply a further 1 GW when it is scheduled for completion in 2027. 

Realisation of the minimum 6 GW will therefore be a significant increase in total Danish offshore wind capacity, and with the possibility of overplanting, the stage is set for a massive boost.

“Now it is up to the market to take part in Denmark’s next big wind adventure. The next chapter will thus be written and carried out by the market – it is the market that must bring these tenders across the finish line” Lars Aagaard, Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities.

Construction of an offshore wind farm of this scale brings massive investments and thousands of green jobs. An offshore wind farm with 1 GW capacity is expected to require capital investments of appr. DKK 16 billion, and, according to calculations from market actors from 2020, appr. 9,500 workers. Not all of these jobs will be in Denmark, but the 6 GW offshore wind can contribute substantially to employment across Denmark – especially in the construction phase.

Key facts: The biggest wind tender in Danish history

  • The 6 GW are tendered with an option of overplanting. This means, that there is freedom to establish more than the minimum capacity of 6 GW – potentially 10 GW or more.
  • Denmark’s operating offshore wind farms currently have a capacity of 2.7 GW.
  • It is estimated, that a 1 GW offshore wind farm requires capital investments of appr. DKK 16 billion.
  • A number of requirements will be implemented in order to ensure increased sustainability and social responsibility in the projects.
  • The 6 GW will be tendered without state subsidies and with a yearly concession payment. This means, that the bidders will participate in the tenders by bidding a yearly concession payment to the Danish state across a 30-year period, for the right to use the seabed.
  • The concession payment is combined with the Danish state co-owning each of the tendered offshore wind farms with a minority ownership of 20 pct.

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