Accelerating the scaling of green energy
The shallow, windy waters of Europe’s North Sea provide ideal conditions for offshore wind.
According to Wind Europe, Northern Europe has a technical potential for upwards of 600 gigawatts offshore wind by 2030. This is double capacity target set for the entire European Union by 2050.
Ambitious work is already under way to deliver on this potential in the form of two energy islands in the Danish North Sea and the Baltic Sea, with a total capacity of up to 12 GW. Ramboll is a key partner to the Danish transmission system operator (TSO), Energinet, helping develop both energy islands currently in the tender phase.
The next phase in the green energy transition
The energy island in the North Sea is the first of its kind in the world and is expected to be the largest infrastructure project in Danish history.
Situated approximately 80 kilometres off Denmark’s west coast, the island hub will initially supply by 3-4 GW renewable energy, with planned increases of up to 10 GW. The total area of the energy island is expected to be 18,000 square metres, roughly the size of 18 football pitches.
Ramboll has supported the VindØ consortium – one of the leading tenders for the North Sea energy island – by exploring the possibilities of developing large Power-to-X facilities on the island.
Navigating novel challenges and opportunities
Ramboll supported the consortium by conducting initial studies, answering:
- How to enhance the liveability of the artificial island for the benefit of the workers who will be stationed there
- How excess heat from Power-to-X could be used for low-carbon district heating
- And how the port facility could be designed as a hub for environmental monitoring vessels
For the Baltic Sea energy island, to be located on Danish island Bornholm, Ramboll conducted an extensive environmental impact assessment of nearby Natura 2000-protected areas and local wildlife to ensure biodiversity is not negatively impacted by the project.
Energy islands are part of a larger puzzle
To meet climate targets, all energy sectors in Europe must be decarbonised by 2050. This requires more renewable energy on a vast scale. According to Energinet, total renewable energy production needs to increase five-fold to meet future demand.
Getting this energy to consumers and industries requires a deep overhaul of the electrical grid as we know it. In Denmark, Ramboll won a €50 million framework agreement with Energinet to modernise and expand 100 transformer stations across the country.
“We are thrilled to win this framework agreement and expand our excellent collaboration with Energinet,” says John Ammentorp Danish country market director for energy.
“We are also proud to contribute to ensuring enough green power in the sockets – both at home and in industries – while at the same time contributing to the resilience of the Danish energy system,” he adds.
Simultaneously, Ramboll won a project for Energinet to develop the conceptual electrical infrastructure for the North Sea energy island. Ramboll is also responsible for surveying and recommending possible submerged cable routes for the Bornholm energy island.