June 7 (Renewables Now) - Denmark will not allocate new areas for commercial project applications under the open-door scheme, one of the country's two different procedures for offshore wind establishment, and will reject applications without designated areas, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities said today.
This means that the government is refusing 24 applications to set up offshore wind parks through the open-door scheme, industry organisation Green Power Denmark explained.
"This is completely unheard of. The government is hindering a green industrial adventure and betraying the trust of the companies that need to invest in the future green transition," said the group’s chief executive Kristian Jensen.
Denmark suspended the open-door scheme in February to determine whether it is in breach of EU law. The other procedure for offshore wind establishment involves holding site-specific tenders.
"The situation today is different from when the [open-door] scheme was rightfully put on hold. Last week, we entered into the largest agreement in Danish history for offshore wind energy, and now we are allocating approximately 30% of the sea area to renewable energy. Regarding the open-door scheme, we have already had six projects approved to proceed and we will work on adjusting the scheme so that it can be used for the three open-door projects that are included in the marine plan,” energy minister Lars Aagaard explained, adding that, overall, this amounts to almost 18 GW of new offshore wind energy.
For the three pending open-door applications, namely Kadet Banke, Paludan Flak and Vikinge Banke, the area is already designated for renewable energy in the marine plan and the government will work to see those projects proceed.
Together, the nine open-door projects can deliver up to 3.6 GW of offshore wind capacity.
Danish renewables developer European Energy A/S described the government’s decision as “very unfortunate.”
“We have obtained full support from all the municipalities where we have applied to establish new coastal offshore wind turbine projects. The local support for the projects in Stevns, Guldborgsund, Frederikshavn, Hjorring, Lolland, and Tonder is something we have worked on for a long time. It has been a requirement from the authorities that local governments should be consulted in this process - and we are puzzled that this local anchoring of renewable energy projects now seems to mean nothing,” commented Andreas Karhula Lauridsen, head of offshore wind at European Energy.
The executive said further that not only is it two years of wasted effort in promoting the green transition, but also a blow to Danish municipalities’ ambitions to use their local offshore wind resources to drive green growth and Power-to-X projects.