Denmark will no longer allocate new areas for commercial projects under the open-door scheme, one of the country’s two procedures for offshore wind development. Additionally, applications without designated areas will be rejected. As a result, the government is rejecting 24 applications to establish offshore wind parks through this scheme. This decision hampers the progress of a sustainable industrial endeavor and undermines the trust of companies that are essential for investing in the future green transition.
In February, Denmark temporarily suspended the open-door scheme to assess its compliance with EU law. As an alternative, the country employs site-specific tenders for offshore wind establishment.
The current circumstances differ from the time when the open-door scheme was rightfully put on hold. Recently, Denmark made a significant agreement for offshore wind energy, marking it as the largest in the country’s history, and now around 30% of the sea area is being allocated for renewable energy purposes. In relation to the open-door scheme, six projects have already received approval to move forward. Efforts will be made to modify the scheme to accommodate the three open-door projects outlined in the marine plan. In total, this represents nearly 18 Giga Watt of offshore wind energy.
The government aims to facilitate the progress of the three pending open-door applications, namely Kadet Banke, Paludan Flak, and Vikinge Banke, as the designated area in the marine plan is already allocated for renewable energy. These projects, along with the other six open-door projects, have the potential to generate a total offshore wind capacity of up to 3.6 GW.
Full support has been received from all the municipalities where applications were made to establish new coastal offshore wind turbine projects. The extensive effort invested in gaining local support for the projects in Stevns, Guldborgsund, Frederikshavn, Hjorring, Lolland, and Tonder has been a long-standing endeavor. Consulting with local governments has been a prerequisite set by the authorities during this process. However, it needs to be clarified that the significance of local endorsement for renewable energy projects appears to be disregarded. It signifies two years of wasted effort in promoting the green transition, as well as a blow to Danish municipalities’ ambitions to utilize their local offshore wind resources for driving green growth and Power-to-X projects.