Baltic Sea countries sign first European cooperation agreement for joint expansion of grid infrastructure.
Denmark and Germany want to jointly promote offshore wind power and expand the corresponding infrastructure. On Thursday, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Danish Energy Minister Lars Aagaard signed an agreement on cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea – the first of its kind in Europe, according to the German Economics Ministry. This will create the basis for future green electricity imports to Germany and turn the power supply cheaper, more secure and less dependent on fossil fuels, Habeck said.
Within the context of this project, at least three gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power generation capacity on the Danish Baltic Sea island of Bornholm will be connected to the territory of Germany’s neighbor by the early 2030s. The electricity will then be transported to Germany and the Danish mainland via new grid connections.
EU offshore targets considered ambitious – also due to dependence on raw materials
Until now, the electricity from several offshore wind farms has been collected and then transported to the coast of the country to which the farms belong, Handelsblatt (paywall) writes. Only through close cooperation between the countries bordering the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the EU’s ambitious expansion targets for offshore wind power could be achieved. In the North Sea alone, wind farms with a capacity of 300 GW are to be installed by 2050. This would cover around one third of the EU’s current electricity consumption – provided the necessary grid infrastructure is in place until then.
The expansion targets for the North Sea are also considered ambitious because of the current difficult investment environment for European offshore wind farms and the high dependence on imports for the raw materials required (we reported). Only recently, the heads of government involved therefore demanded the origin of the critical minerals for wind turbines and batteries to be diversified.