EU Baltic Sea countries to increase offshore wind power capacity

1 September 2022

On Tuesday, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen welcomed top figures from the Baltic countries, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Germany and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Copenhagen for the high-level EU Baltic Sea Energy Summit. The agenda was threefold: 1) to strengthen EU’s independence from Russian fossil fuels and improve; 2) improve energy security; 3) harness the untapped offshore energy potential of the Baltic Sea.

In order to reach the overall objective of positioning the Baltic Sea as a renewable power hub and promoting a sustainable, energy-resilient and secure Europe, Denmark, together with the Baltic countries, presented a declaration that will ensure green electricity for up to 30 million households by 2030. This will be done by increasing their offshore wind capacity sevenfold: from just under 3 gigawatts to almost 20 gigawatts. This will mean that 1100-1700 offshore wind turbines must be built, depending on the size, which will ensure electricity for between 22 and 30 million households.

Currently, 2.8 gigawatts of offshore wind are spinning in the Baltic Sea region, approximately half of which is Danish. However, there is a potential of up to 93 gigawatts towards 2050, the EU Commission has previously assessed.

This commitment to increase energy cooperation in the form of a strong expansion of offshore wind – and in the short term the import of liquefied gas – was among the central message at the press conference at Marienborg. In a statement by European Commission President von der Leyen, she acknowledged the importance of independence from Russian fossil fuels: “Putin’s attempt to blackmail us with fossil fuels is failing […] And we are accelerating the clean, cheaper and home-grown renewable energy.”

According to an interview with Politiken, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen … the green transition must be speeded up: “The war in Ukraine and climate change are happening at the same time. We have two crises on the table. We have to speed up the green transition, and we have to free ourselves from Russian fossil energy.”

Tuesday’s Summit comes a few months after a similar one in Esbjerg with participation from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The countries then agreed on a goal to tenfold the capacity for offshore wind in the North Sea to 150 gigawatts by 2050.