Showcasing the power of human collaboration, Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands hope to partner together on a massive green energy project. The trio of countries have big plans to build an Island Hub to help harness offshore wind power in the North Sea. Per Jason Deign at Greentech Media, the island would support up to 100 gigawatts of offshore wind projects. The North Sea Wind Power Hub would serve as a central location to house maintenance crews and turbine operations. It would also connect both far-shore wind farms and current lines between Denmark, Norway, Germany, Holland, and the U.K.
Per Jesper Nørskov Rasmussen, publicist for the Danish subsidiary Energinet.dk, “The cooperation will spend the coming years investigating feasibility and develop a model before deciding whether to go forward.”
Beneficial infrastructure to the project is already in place. The North Sea currently holds a vast network of gas pipelines that can potentially carry wind-generated gas to European countries. In addition, the region is already home to a number of offshore wind operations. According to figures from industry body WindEurope, 96.4% of all offshore wind capacity installed in 2016 occurred in the North Sea, totaling more than 1.5 gigawatts. Due to such rapid growth, a central hub that supports current and future offshore wind installations would be extremely useful.
Per Greentech Media, “TenneT [Germany’s subsidiary] and Energinet.dk claim the project will help deliver economies of scale for far-shore wind farms, and yield efficiencies by allowing direct current lines to double as interconnectors.”
The island is also planned to hold an airport. This transportation system would allow easier access for supplies and maintenance crews.
The future of offshore wind collaboration
Projects such as the North Sea Wind Power Hub highlight the audacity of human spirit to collaborate. The current collaborators are hoping more countries, like the U.K., will join in on the project. More countries could offer more resources and extend the reach of sustainable wind power across Europe. Ultimately, this can greatly reduce Europe's reliance on fossil fuels.