How the Energy Island becomes a Growth Engine

Søren Møller Christensen was appointed interim director of Baltic Energy Island on November 1, 2022. Baltic Energy Island is a partnership of companies and system operators, which aims to ensure that the massive investments in Energy Island Bornholm and offshore wind in the Baltic Sea become more than just green electrons in the power grid. Read his perspectives on the potential that the development holds for Bornholm and Denmark.
What is happening on Bornholm?
Around Bornholm, there are currently plans for projects with 6.9 GW of offshore wind. That is equivalent to the total amount of land and offshore wind in Denmark today. Together with the transformer station, PtX plants, and cable connections, the projects represent investments of more than DKK 125 billion. From a Bornholm perspective, this is a staggering scale. The project is a cornerstone of the green transition and holds great potential for creating green jobs and developing new solutions that Danish companies can sell to the rest of the world.
What is Baltic Energy Island?
Baltic Energy Island is Bornholm’s business flagship and is both a foundation and a consortium of strong Bornholm, Danish, and international companies, educational and research institutions, authorities, and organizations.
The common goal is to develop Bornholm into Europe’s leading hub for testing and implementing energy technologies and energy systems. This means that we need to work to ensure that the large investments create green jobs on Bornholm and that we ensure that the investments are a catalyst for innovation and technology development.
Søren Møller Christensen is the acting director of Baltic Energy Island and comes from a position as Head of Development and Planning in the Bornholm Regional Municipality.
What needs to be tested and developed?
Innovation, testing, and development are crucial to the success of the business flagship. Energinet’s transformer station is technologically innovative, and the entire setup of connecting the German and Danish markets via an energy island is pioneering. Additionally, the large PtX project proposed by CIP and Ørsted with offshore wind from two fields is also innovative. The size of 3 GW has not been tested before, and the large amount of excess heat from the plant provides an opportunity to develop technologies and industries that can utilize the energy that is lost in electrolysis.
Why is all this happening on Bornholm?
Firstly, Bornholm is strategically well-positioned relative to a high demand for gas in Germany, which can be supplied with green hydrogen from Bornholm and from future wind farms and energy islands in the Baltic Sea. Bornholm is also internationally recognized as a place where companies, energy companies, and universities develop, test, and demonstrate energy technological solutions. Finally, in recent years, Rønne Harbor has built up the capacity to be a leading offshore installation port in the Baltic Sea. Together, this gives Bornholm a unique opportunity to become the green center of the Baltic Sea and a European hub for testing and innovating green technologies.
What does it mean for the people on Bornholm?
For Bornholm, the energy island and the overall expansion of offshore wind are a unique opportunity to attract and create green jobs while also creating a research and study environment on the island. The development is important for Bornholm, which despite a positive development in recent years, is challenged in terms of both demographics and economy. If Bornholm is to achieve economic balance, there is a need for a massive expansion of more jobs and long-term business development that can attract more people to the island.
Bornholm is already known to be a testing ground for several green energy solutions. Here, researchers at DTU Powerlab monitor Denmark’s largest grid-connected battery on the island, which helps balance the electricity grid on Bornholm.

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