Screening and environmental mapping of offshore wind potential in Denmark


For the next three years, the Danish Energy Agency will be collaborating with NIRAS, Aarhus University, DTU Vind and GEUS on a screening and environmental mapping project to assess the offshore wind potential in Denmark. The work is already underway, and will form an important basis for the future development of offshore wind in Denmark.

March 13, 2023
  • SDG: #7, #13, #14
  • SECTORS: Miljø, Energy, Offshore Wind
  • COUNTRIES: Denmark
  • CLIENT: Miljøstyrelsen / The Danish Energy Agency
  • DURATION: 2022 - 2025

To gain a comprehensive overview of the combined offshore wind potential in Denmark, the Danish Energy Agency initiated a mapping project with a view to supporting the future long-term planning of offshore wind farms in Denmark. The screening will, among other things, identify areas in Danish waters where nature, the environment and other regional interests may be particularly vulnerable to the large-scale expansion of offshore wind.

The aim of the project is to contribute to a significantly improved knowledge-base to support the future development of offshore wind in Denmark. This requires new knowledge of benthic plant and animal life, fish, marine mammals, birds and bats, as well as improved knowledge of wind and hydrodynamic conditions. The project will also examine the cumulative effects of the expected large-scale expansion of offshore wind in both Denmark and neighbouring countries in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

NIRAS, in collaboration with Aarhus University (DCE - National Centre for the Environment and Energy) and DTU Vind, will assist the Danish Energy Agency with consultancy for the project.

Reinforces NIRAS' strong position within environmental assessment of offshore wind farms

"At NIRAS, we are very proud to have been chosen to lead and be a part of the fantastic team supporting the Danish Energy Agency with this ambitious and important task. The mapping will provide an overview of the knowledge we have about the natural environment relevant for assessing offshore wind farm projects; likewise, it will focus on where we lack the knowledge to be able to adequately assess the impacts from the large-scale development of offshore wind. The screening and studies of cumulative effects can help facilitate the environmental assessment process for future offshore wind projects and thus the green transition," explains project manager at NIRAS, Louise Rønde Mønster, about the project, which has already started.

"At NIRAS, we work with environmental assessments of offshore wind farm projects, both in Denmark and several other countries, and we are well aware of the need for the clarifications that this task will provide. This need has only increased as even more offshore wind farms are planned. In addition, the assignment provides insight into some of the central issues relating to the large-scale development of offshore wind and thus strengthens NIRAS’ position within environmental assessments of offshore wind farms and offshore wind in general," concludes Louise Rønde Mønster.

The project consists of four tasks:

  1. Sensitivity mapping of nature, environmental, wind and hydrodynamic conditions, as well as other significant interests of importance for offshore wind development.
  2. Technical screening and assessment of the overall offshore wind potential based on the sensitivity mapping and relevant technical parameters.
  3. Assessment of potential cumulative effects from large-scale offshore wind development in Denmark and neighbouring countries.
  4. Assessment of barriers and potentials in relation to the coexistence of wind farms and the natural environment and regional interests.

NIRAS is responsible for the overall project management for the consulting team and will also contribute to the individual tasks, in close cooperation with DCE and DTU Vind, with various other competencies.

Facts about the project

The assignment is to be undertaken during the period from 2022-2025. The project builds on existing data and previously completed technical screenings, but will provide an improved data foundation and will cover the entire offshore area in Denmark.

In the political sub-agreement to the Finance Act 2022 — Investments in an ever greener Denmark — funds were allocated for the period 2022-2025 for a project to secure the necessary data foundation and support the long-term planning for, and decisions around, large-scale development of offshore wind.

The project is anchored in the Danish Energy Agency, which in 2022, together with GEUS, began a comprehensive geological mapping of the Danish seabed, this being crucial for assessing whether an area is suitable for setting up offshore wind turbines. The geological mapping, reported on an ongoing basis and culminating in a final report in 2024, will be a central element in the overall screening of offshore wind potential, which will be separately reported in 2025.

The Danish Energy Agency is to set up a follow-up group for the project, with participation of the Danish authorities responsible for activities at sea. A stakeholder group will also be set up, where relevant special interest groups will be involved.

You can read more about the project on the Danish Energy Agency's website.


Louise Rønde Mønster

Louise Rønde Mønster

Expertise Director

Aarhus, Denmark

+45 8732 3221

Jonas Nyfeldt-Nüchel

Jonas Nyfeldt-Nüchel

Project Manager

Aarhus, Denmark

+45 5339 7122

Related content