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ENERGY

Denmark reserves waters for construction of wind power farms

Large areas of Danish territorial waters have been earmarked by the state for the construction of new wind farms.

Denmark reserves waters for construction of wind power farms
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Minister for the Environment Lars Christian Lilleholt has reserved large areas of Danish waters for future state-owned wind parks.

The decision follows recent interest by private companies in carrying out feasibility studies regarding construction of wind farms in the areas, Ritzau writes.

“Before granting away some of our best wind resources, I want to make sure we have a clear idea of how the resources can benefit us all,” Lilleholt said.

“We are taking this step to ensure money from the considerable resources in Danish waters benefits Danes,” the minister added.

Current low prices for wind energy were part of the reason for the government’s decision to take the step, Lilleholt said, adding that the strategy of reserving the potentially profitable territorial waters fitted with the ideology of the governing Liberal (Venstre) party.

“It’s good Liberal politics to ensure that Denmark owns the wind resources around Denmark. It makes sense for the money to benefit Danish society,” he said.

The minister also drew parallels between offshore wind power manufacture in Denmark and the North Sea oil industry, from which neighbouring Norway draws much of its wealth.

The areas reserved by the government are located in the Kattegat Sea as well as the North Sea.

Danish waters are among Europe’s prime wind farm locations due to the low sea depth and windy conditions.

Reservation of the areas does not mean wind farms are certain to be built there, however.

“The first step has been taken with the reservation. Next is a screening process to find the most beneficial location to place the wind farms,” Lilleholt said.

READ ALSO: German firm criticised for keeping Danish power from energy market

ENERGY

German households to receive relief for gas costs ‘starting in January’

To help German residents with skyrocketing energy costs, the government is planning to provide relief starting in January, according to draft legislation.

German households to receive relief for gas costs 'starting in January'

Through the gas price cap, the so-called Gaspreisbremse, both German residents and companies will receive retrospective relief for their gas costs starting in January 2023, according to the draft. 

Previously the relief payments were set to stretch between March 2023 and spring 2024, with 25,000 larger businesses, as well as almost 2,000 hospitals and schools to receive the help starting in January. 

READ ALSO: How much could households save under Germany’s new price cap?

The German government is reacting to the sharp rise in energy prices with energy price brakes worth billions and wants to soften the blow on both private households and companies. 

Germany will also be divvying out a one-off energy relief payment in December.

READ ALSO: When will people in Germany get their December gas bill payment?

How much will households and businesses receive?

Under the gas price cap, households and small and medium-sized enterprises are to receive a guaranteed gas gross price of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their current consumption. For the remaining 20 percent of consumption, the contract price is set to apply.

For district heating, the guaranteed gross price is to be capped at 9.5 cents. 

Starting in January, a gas price brake is also planned for industry. These large consumers are to receive a guaranteed price of 7 cents per kilowatt hour net for 70 percent of their previous consumption volume.

The largest part of the energy price brake is to be financed by a “defence umbrella”, or special reserve, totalling up to €200 billion. The government is still taking on new debt in order to finance the energy caps. 

Russia’s war against Ukraine has increasingly aggravated the situation on the energy markets in Germany and Europe in the course of 2022, the draft states. 

In particular, the recent large price increases for natural gas and heat represent a “considerable, in some cases existence-threatening burden for residents and companies in Germany,” it continued. “They are an enormous socio-political and economic challenge.”

Vocabulary

relief – (die) Entlastung

Natural gas – (das) Erdgas

Consumption – (der) Verbrauch

cushion/soften a blow – abfedern

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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