Denmark, Belgium, and Germany step closer to energy island grid links

The Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, and the Belgian Minister of Energy, Tinne van der Straeten, have signed a formal political Memorandum of Agreement to establish an offshore grid connection between Denmark and Germany including the Danish energy island in the North Sea.

Navingo BV
Belgian Minister of Energy, Tinne van der Straeten, and Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen. Source: Navingo BV

Andreas Feicht, Head of Secretary at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, also took part in the signing ceremony during the WindEurope Electric City 2021 conference in Copenhagen and put a few words into the prospects for cooperation in the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Germany.

At the same time, Denmark’s transmission system operator Energinet and Belgium’s Elia Group signed two new cooperation agreements: one between Energinet and Elia that is said to move an interconnector between the Danish energy island in the North Sea and Belgium a big step closer, and one between Energinet and 50Hertz that is said to bring a connection between the Danish energy island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and Germany much closer to realization.

Source: Navingo BV

A meshed grid connected to several countries is important to transport renewable energy from the large offshore wind farms and energy islands to consumers around Europe and also crucial in providing the greatest possible value in relation to zero carbon electricity, Energinet said.

”I see the cooperation agreement as a big step towards Danish energy islands becoming a reality and with huge gains for a greener Europe. Today’s agreements show not only that the whole idea of energy islands and connections to several countries is a good idea, but also that the countries are very keen to implement the huge offshore wind projects. It’s a big day that brings the energy islands with neighboring countries one important step closer,” Thomas Egebo, CEO, Energinet.

The agreements mean that the three TSOs now specifically cooperate on, among other things, the initiation of feasibility studies and the business cases that are to be used as a basis for national approvals in Belgium, Germany and Denmark.

”The realisation of the Belgian-Danish cable is an important next step in making our electricity system more sustainable. Thanks to the hybrid technology, we will have direct access to large wind farms in the far northern North Sea with different climatic conditions. This will provide greater security of supply and help our energy-intensive industry to further decarbonise. In addition, we will continue to pioneer innovative technologies, giving our companies an edge on the international stage,” Chris Peeters, CEO Elia Group, said.

The new and more binding cooperation agreements are the first steps towards final investment decisions.

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”The Bornholm Energy Island project builds on the good cooperation between 50Hertz and Energinet that exists between our companies over many years now,” Stefan Kapferer, CEO of 50Hertz, said.

”The world’s first hybrid interconnector, Kriegers Flak – Combined Grid Solution, which was commissioned last year, now connects Danish and German wind farms. With Bornholm Energy Island, we now want to go one step further and realise the first real electricity grid hub for the Baltic Sea. This is technically and economically demanding, but together we will master this challenge.”