Offshore wind successes: Lessons from Denmark in creating climate jobs

With the game-changing Star of the South proposal in Victoria representing an opportunity to establish Australia’s very own offshore wind sector to act on climate change, it’s important we learn from leading jurisdictions about the key to successfully establishing the sector.
Without offshore wind laws or policy of any kind, there is much Australia can learn from countries leading on offshore wind like Denmark and the United Kingdom.
In part one of our blog series on offshore wind success stories, Yes 2 Renewables has taken a look at the offshore wind industry in Denmark, focusing on what policies are needed to get the sector off the ground, create jobs, and cut emissions.
Across Europe in 2019, there was over 22,000 MW of installed offshore wind capacity with 3,623MW added in that year alone [1]. Denmark has been a leader in renewable energy for over 30 years with the inception of its first energy plan in 1976 creating energy taxes to support research into renewable energy. By 1996, renewable energy targets were set for 12-14% by 2005 and 25% by 2030. These targets were progressively enhanced, and in 2011, the government announced all electricity and heat would be renewable powered by 2035 and all energy by renewables by 2050 [2]. Policy levers such as taxes, production subsidies and research and development programmes enhanced wind turbine adoption with fixed feed-in tariffs obligating the Danish Transmission System Operator (TSO) to purchase the country’s total renewable electricity supply secured private investment in the industry. [3]
Offshore wind plays a significant part in the renewable energy plans for Denmark with the first turbines installed in 1991. In 2018, the Danish government signed an energy agreement, enabling it to meet it’s 2030 target of 50% renewables [4]. This target was further ramped up to 70% by 2030, in 2019 with 5 year targets [5]. A key part of the commitment included the construction of three large new offshore wind farms. Danish energy production from offshore wind grew from 1.3GW to 1.7GW in 2019, and recently announced plans to develop a $30billion offshore wind island [6].
Not only does the Danish government’s commitment to offshore wind driving the transition to renewable energy, it is creating a long pipeline of jobs too. A report jointly published by the Economic Council of Labour Movement (ECLM) and the United Federation of Workers in Denmark, point to an increase of over 3,500 direct jobs over a 10 year period thanks to [7].
A key ingredient to setting up offshore wind is a legal framework for granting projects licenses to construct and generate electricity.
In Denmark the Danish Energy Agency manages the procedures for permit schemes for offshore wind projects. There are two different processes: government call for tenders and open door procedures with legislation defined in the Promotion of Renewable Energy Act, which states that all...