The year 2022 was full of events that are permanently changing the conditions for the offshore wind industry. We asked industry leaders and key policy-makers for their assessment of what has been achieved in the past year and what the forecasts are for 2023. In today’s interview of the „Baltic Sea Offshore Wind – 2022 Summary & 2023 Outlook” series, we present the opinion of Kristian Jensen, CEO of Green Power Denmark.
From my perspective, the most important developments for the offshore wind industry in 2022 are the Esbjerg Declaration and the Baltic Sea Summit, where the political leaders from the countries around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea agreed to accelerate the expansion of offshore wind. Offshore wind is the key to reaching our climate goals and getting rid of our dependency on natural gas from Russia. With our knowledge and our wind resources, Denmark plays a key role in that and I’m glad that the Danish prime minister took initiative to the Esbjerg Declaration and the Baltic Summit.
Our main achievements in 2022 are that the government and most of the Danish parliament made a climate agreement. With this agreement, Denmark will build 9 GW offshore wind by 2030. That is a quadrupling of the Danish offshore wind capacity. In Green Power Denmark the power grid is also on top of our agenda. The power grid is the backbone of the green transition and massive investments are needed to make them fit-for-purpose in an increasingly decarbonized power system so we can transport increasing amounts of green energy. Both the Danish government and European Commission acknowledge that. But we still need policymakers to improve investment frameworks.
An important challenge for offshore wind development in 2023 is speed. We have set ambitious goals. Now we must focus on implementation and building offshore wind farms. Today it takes about 9 years to build an offshore wind farm. That is way too slow. Therefore, I am glad that the European Commission in the REPowerEU Plan will simplify the permitting processes and make them shorter.
In 2023 we will focus in particular on having the 9 GW offshore wind – that Denmark has planned – tendered. In Denmark, we have historically tendered one offshore windfarm at a time. We need to change that and tender all the 9 GW offshore wind at the same time or else the windfarms will not be done by 2030. We will also push for higher ambitions on Power-to-X. With our knowledge and our resources, Denmark has all the possibilities to be a world leader in developing green fuels for ships and airplanes. The industry and the investors are ready, but we need the politicians to make the right framework to secure the demand for green fuels.