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New Energy World
New Energy World embraces the whole energy industry as it connects and converges to address the decarbonisation challenge. It covers progress being made across the industry, from the dynamics under way to reduce emissions in oil and gas, through improvements to the efficiency of energy conversion and use, to cutting-edge initiatives in renewable and low carbon technologies.
Several projects for North Sea energy islands are in their early development stages, but how exactly would such islands work and what challenges are they currently facing? Energy journalist Karolin Schaps reports.
Sky-rocketing electricity prices, the revival of coal plants and the Kremlin’s stranglehold on Europe’s gas needs are some of the symptoms that are underscoring the urgent need for the continent to produce more homegrown green energy. As much of the region’s best wind resources are located deep in the North Sea, the ongoing crisis has strengthened the case for building energy islands that can act as hubs for channelling huge amounts of offshore energy to different parts of the European mainland.
Currently, the North Sea countries of Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands are actively developing concepts for energy islands. The ideas on the table vary greatly, as does the level of project maturity, but they all have one thing in common – the wish to scale up the harnessing of Europe’s offshore wind energy resources.
‘There is huge demand for producing green energy in Europe, but especially now with the need to lessen the dependence on Putin’s gas the push is even bigger to make this happen,’ says Lars Buus, a director at energy consultancy DNV, which specialises in offshore energy island strategies. ‘You need huge infrastructure projects if you want to scale up green energy to replace hydrocarbons. That’s why wind and islands are really important in that equation.’