September 23, 2022

Bornholm will become the international hub for green technologies

A new partnership will help spur the development of the technologies needed to transition the Baltic’s energy system, as well as that of the rest of the world, to renewable energy. This partnership involves a number of actors from the private, state and municipal sectors, in addition to the DTU. They all joined forces to establish a business foundation in Bornholm called Baltic Energy Island.

The need for knowledge and development of our energy systems is important. The Baltic Sea, with Bornholm at its center, offers enormous offshore energy potential that can be tapped through the creation of energy islands. This is evidenced by the energy summit to be held on the island of Bornholm on August 30, which will bring together the leaders of the countries bordering the Baltic to discuss how to ensure independence from the Russian energy and boost the green transition.

“Access to energy from wind farms and test facilities where researchers, companies and authorities can interact is crucial for the shift to renewable energy. That is why we have partnered with a number of other partners to get Baltic Energy Island off the ground. With the foundation as the umbrella organisation, Bornholm will become a leading international innovation hub in the development of green technologies and energy islands,” says Professor DTU Jacob Ostergaard.

He points out that the current establishment of energy islands aims both to support security of supply and to ensure the transition to sustainable forms of energy. Bornholm will be the first place in the world where an energy island will be installed on a large scale. This will take place in 2029 with a wind farm capacity of around 2-3 GW.

Plans are also underway for an energy island in the North Sea. The ambition is for the two energy islands to supply the electricity produced by offshore wind to electric cars, heat pumps, households and businesses, while converting the electricity into hydrogen and other energy in the long term. fuels that can be used by planes, ships, and trucks by connecting batteries and Power-to-X technologies to energy islands.

Knowledge and learning environment

Baltic Energy Island’s partners are DTU, Ørsted, Siemens-Gamesa, Energinet, the regional municipality of Bornholm, the electricity supplier Bornholms Energi & Forsyning and the port of Rønne. The launch of the foundation also saw the establishment of a national partnership with the participation of a number of authorities under the leadership of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Financial Affairs.

Under the auspices of Baltic Energy Island, the partners will work in several main areas: the development of Bornholm as the offshore wind center of the Baltic, the development of Bornholm as the green transport center of the Baltic and the use of Bornholm as a test island for renewable energy. As part of this, the partners will create opportunities to test and develop technologies for energy islands and Power-to-X as well as train engineers to be part of the green transition, just as the partnership will help others. regions and countries. with the transformation of their own energy systems and societies.

In addition, a growth and innovation house is to be established at Rønne Power Station, where learning dividends from test and development activities will be applied through a partnership between students, researchers and businesses in the aim of creating innovative and green business models. In this regard, DTU’s work includes efforts to establish a knowledge and learning environment – a residential college where students and researchers can stay and work with Bornholm’s energy system while taking courses related to the surrounding business community, by doing internships, or writing projects or master’s theses in collaboration with local businesses.

Train more engineers across the country

Baltic Energy Island fits well with DTU’s strategy, which aims to train more engineers capable of developing sustainable solutions to reduce the impact of climate change and ensure the balanced use of resources. The initiative also underlines DTU’s ambition to be present throughout Denmark.

“We have a unique opportunity to develop technologies for the energy system of the future. It’s something we have to do together. We will work across sectors, research institutions and national borders, and Baltic Energy Island will serve as a strong platform for this work,” said DTU President Anders Bjarklev.

DTU already has a number of projects based on the island of Bornholm, including the PowerLabDK experimental platform, which is a set of experimental facilities for electricity and energy that see DTU laboratories connected to the energy system from Bornholm. This allows researchers to monitor and collect data related to energy production, distribution and consumption on Bornholm, and to manage experiments on the island regarding things like the power grid, storage of batteries and electric cars, providing them with valuable knowledge on how to develop a cohesive and intelligent energy system.

The establishment of Bornholm as an energy island and hub of a new offshore energy system in the Baltic will also provide new opportunities for innovation, according to Jacob Østergaard:

“The prospect of Bornholm as the world’s first energy island supplying 2-3 GW of wind power is exciting, as it means we can be up and running very quickly. We will have the chance to test different control methods, Power-to-X, and many other things in a flexible environment that already functions as a real energy laboratory.

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