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    Ambitious renewable energy project in Europe seeks to break dependence on Russia


    May 22, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      European plans to abandon dependence on Russian gas and oil and, in the long term, on all hydrocarbons because of the need to make the energy transition against the climate crisis, are beginning to take shape in national projects.

      After the European Commission announced its RePowerEU plan to boost renewables on Wednesday, four governments took the opportunity to make public the world's largest renewable energy project.

      Germany, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands promise to install 65 GWh of offshore wind power by 2030 and 150 GWh by 2050.

      Right now they add up to 15 GWh. If this power generation capacity were to be plugged in, it would alone constitute half of all the offshore wind energy needed in the European Union in 2050. To get an idea of its magnitude, all of France's nuclear power has 61.4 GWh installed.

      The four heads of government of the countries involved signed a declaration on Wednesday in the Danish port of Esbjerg, where the offshore wind platforms of multinationals such as Siemens Gamesa or Denmark's Vestas are assembled.

      Clean energy

      Germany's Olaf Scholz, Belgium's Alexander De Croo, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen and the Netherlands' Mark Rutte committed their countries to building what they called "Europe's largest green power plant."

      Present at the signing was European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, who said that "the more interdependent we are among European states, the less dependent we will be on Russia."

      The idea is to trigger the installation of these offshore windmills, connect the offshore wind farms of the four countries and add 20 GWh of "green" hydrogen to them to form what would in practice be a single offshore wind platform.

      In total, the facility would add up to an electrical generating capacity equivalent to 170 medium-sized nuclear reactors, more than double all those installed and operating in Europe.

      The four signatory countries see the project as meeting the challenge of ensuring both climate neutrality and energy security.

      Little Belgium and its future artificial island, Princess Elisabeth, scheduled for 2028, is at the heart of the project. The Belgian island, which will take a big chunk of the post-pandemic European funds, will be a kind of gigantic artificial offshore socket to which all the wind power platforms of neighboring countries will be connected. The UK is expected to participate in the project in the future.

      Connections

      The offshore windmill platforms of the four countries must be connected by 2030 at the latest.

      By that year Belgium must contribute 8 Gwh, Denmark 10 Gwh, the Netherlands 21 Gwh and Germany 30 Gwh.

      If they all comply in less than eight years they will have between them 69 Gwh of offshore wind in operation, almost as much as 70 medium-sized nuclear reactors.

      Belgium, with just 11 million inhabitants and only 65 kilometers of coastline, is the fourth largest wind power in Europe and is already the second largest in the world in terms of offshore wind capacity per inhabitant. Denmark will also build an artificial island. In practice, the idea is not just to "plant" more windmills in the sea, but to network them in such a way that they form a single "power plant".

      Brussels, special

      CB?

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