The renewable energy uptake surge is not exclusive to Australia. Even western European countries and Scandinavia invests heavily in solar and wind power farms. The former has comparatively lower energy output owing to the low average sunshine in this region. As a result, large solar subsidies for residential and small-scale businesses are not attractive as compared to Australia. Thus, more emphasis falls in wind technologies. On Aug 23, Swedish firm, Vatenfall, officially connected the largest offshore wind farm in Scandinavia, Horns Rev 3.
This is also the second largest offshore wind farm in the region. The first one is the Walney Offshore farm, located in the Irish sea, with a capacity of 659 MW; generating a total of 600,000 UK house equivalent energy. On the other hand, located in the North Sea (40kms off Denmark’s west coast), the Horns Rev facility (100% Vatenfall ownership) has a capacity of 407 MW, enough to power 425, 000 Danish homes. The system uses 8.3MW MHI Vestas turbines (V164) . The project began in late October 2017. It increases the contribution of wind energy to Danish national electricity grid to 12%.
The inauguration was completed by the prince of Denmark. Furthemore, the electricity generation from Horns Rev 3 will be sold at 0.77 per kWh; one of the most economic rates in Europe. Despite the construction challenges, offshore wind farms are picking up momentum as they do not consume land, and do not pose noise pollution to terrestrial creatures. There is also active efforts from the Australian federal government to initiate the first offshore wind farm in the country. In early March 2019, approval was granted to OEPL for initial feasibility study of an offshore facility. Nicknamed “Star of the South”, the project objective is to construct a 250 turbine wind farm 13 kms off the coast of Victoria with a potential to generate 20% of the state’s electricity requirements.