Denmark’s new ‘open door scheme’ will leave 24 out of 33 pending offshore wind projects without any permits for allocation. This comes after a new marine plan was introduced, effectively doubling the area available for renewable energies from 15% to 30%. However, this new plan does not consider any new permits that are yet to be approved. With the current trajectory, any application submitted after the new marine plan will be refused.
Prior to this new plan, 33 offshore wind projects were being assessed. However, due to concerns of a potential breach of EU law, the whole process was placed on hold in February. This decision has been widely met by protest from companies working with Denmark’s offshore wind sector. 3 previously pending projects have been agreed, with 6 more receiving approval since then. This leaves the final 24 essentially gated from approval, with no real prospect of being achieved soon.
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Andreas Karhula Lauridsen, the head of offshore wind at European Energy, has voiced their concerns and commented on the government’s decisions. He states that the original scheme prior to the new maritime plan could have “ensured subsidiary-free renewable energy for Denmark.” He goes on to add “we are puzzled that this local anchoring of renewable energy projects now seems to mean nothing.”
When looking at the past two years of development for Denmark’s offshore wind projects, Lauridsen goes on to comment that it is “two years of wasted work in the service of the green transition, but also a significant blow to the ambitious Danish municipalities that had relied on utilising their local offshore wind resources to support green growth, power-to-X projects, and the prospect of green jobs.”
Yet, this delay seems to be in direct conflict with the EU’s mission for renewable energy. With access to 5 different sea basins, the EU has massive potential for both offshore wind projects and ocean energy. The European Green Deal set out specific climate and energy goals that must be reached by either 2030 or 2050. With a target of 60GW of offshore wind power by 2030, and 300GW by 2050, this decision by Denmark to severely delay its own offshore wind projects is at odds with the EU’s overall energy goals.