Denmark is building an artificial island to house the world’s first cl

Two months in the past, Denmark stated that it might cease all new oil and fuel exploration in the North Sea and fully section out fossil gas manufacturing by 2050. The nation is at the moment the largest oil producer in the European Union. Now it’s planning the subsequent step in its transition: an artificial island that can function a clear vitality hub and finally make zero-carbon gas utilizing wind energy.

[Image: courtesy the Danish Energy Agency]

The artificial island, which will probably be roughly the dimension of 20 soccer fields, will probably be surrounded by 200 to 600 large wind generators—every probably taller than Seattle’s Area Needle. As a result of the hub will probably be round 50 miles off the Danish coast, the generators might be bigger than ones on land, they usually may entry larger wind speeds. In its first section, the hub will ship electrical energy to 3 million households; finally the dimension will greater than triple. As large batteries are added the hub will probably be ready to retailer vitality and ship it on demand. Whereas offshore wind energy already exists, this island will probably be the world’s first clear vitality hub, gathering and distributing energy from a number of wind farms concurrently. The hub may also have the ability to produce gas.

[Image: courtesy the Danish Energy Agency]

If wind energy might be produced cheaply, “you can also make very aggressive inexperienced hydrogen, and it has zero carbon footprint,” says Patrick Molloy, a senior affiliate at RMI, a nonprofit that focuses on clear vitality. (Hydrogen is made by splitting up water molecules with an electrical present, and when the electrical energy is renewable, the hydrogen is thought-about inexperienced.) The hydrogen can be utilized to make ammonia, which cargo ships can use as a substitute of fossil fuels; ships operating on ammonia are in growth now and can seemingly be in use inside the subsequent few years.

Airplanes may additionally run on inexperienced hydrogen or on artificial fuels that mix the hydrogen with CO2 captured from the environment. The hydrogen can be utilized in gas cells in autos, or in industrial vegetation that may’t simply run on renewables. It may even be piped into houses to exchange pure fuel. “It presents a pathway for us to step away from fossil fuels and to transfer to a zero-carbon resolution in sectors {that a} very brief time in the past seemed very troublesome to attain,” Molloy says. The hub will ship liquid gas again to Denmark and surrounding nations by undersea cables.


[Image: courtesy the Danish Energy Agency]

The challenge, which will probably be funded each by the Danish authorities and by firms that can companion with it, will price round $34 billion and will probably be the largest development challenge in the nation’s historical past. A second vitality hub will probably be added later. It’s one piece of Denmark’s bigger plan to quickly reduce emissions—by 2030, emissions legally have to be 70% decrease than they had been in the Nineties—and to turn into carbon impartial by 2050. Says Molloy, “I feel this simply speaks to the dedication of Denmark to attain its local weather objectives.”