Press release

Wind energy, hydrogen and port planning Published on 12 May 2022

Press Release of the Senator for Science and Ports

Close cooperation between Iceland and Germany in questions of energy is a completely realistic option for the future. This was the assessment of Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, on her return from a 3-day visit to the island in the northern Atlantic. On the trip, which had been thoroughly prepared by the German Ambassador, the Senator was accompanied by Robert Howe, Managing Director of bremenports, and Dr Klaus Meier, founder of the wind energy project company wpd.

“The transition to green energy is also a major topic for the future in Iceland,” stated the Senator after talks with representatives from political, scientific and business sectors.
85 per cent of the volcanic island’s energy consumption already comes from renewable energy sources, primarily hydropower and geothermal energy. To date, wind energy has not played a significant role and there are only two wind turbines in operation on the island, which is roughly one third the size of Germany.

But this situation is to change in future. The Icelandic parliament will shortly adopt a new “Green Energy” master plan which will designate the first sites for energy generation by wind turbines. Dr Schilling comments, “In this island with its unique landscape, there are zones which are absolutely taboo for wind turbines. At the same time, however, there are also areas which offer some of the best conditions in the world for generating wind energy.”
One of these areas is in the north-east of Iceland, where the port management company bremenports is planning a port project in cooperation with the local municipalities and an Icelandic business partner. Over the next ten years, a multifunctional maritime transhipment centre is to be built at Finna Fjord, designed specifically for exploiting the diverse potential of this region. Senator Schilling commented, “The transhipment of green hydrogen generated on the basis of wind energy is a new and realistic prospect in that connection.”

The delegation from Bremen met representatives of the local municipalities who presented the current status of the ideas for the project. The plans envisage three large wind farms in the region, each with 80 turbines. The wind situation on shore here enables yields which can otherwise only be achieved by offshore facilities. bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe believes these prospects provide central new impetus for the port planning process: “Green electricity, moreover from a democratic country, can make a prime contribution towards the energy transition in Germany – and ports will play an indispensable role in that process.”

The Finna Fjord port project is located in a virtually unpopulated area. The site designated in the master plan covers an area of 1200 hectares and is owned by various parties. In-depth negotiations are currently in progress to buy up the necessary sites. When this has been completed, plans will be drawn up to prepare the project ready for construction. In the course of the visit, a new agreement was initiated with the municipal governments for the exclusive use of these sites. This agreement will stipulate that the sites are reserved for exclusive use by the Finna Fjord development company until the year 2060. The first building work could begin in the second half of this decade.

Senator Schilling was convinced of the good potential for close cooperation with the Icelandic partners. “Finna Fjord remains a fascinating and ambitious project for the future. We will have to be patient and proceed step by step. This visit has confirmed that the Icelandic government and the municipalities in the north-east of the island are banking on close cooperation with Bremen.”

Media contact: Ana Belle Becké, Deputy Press Spokesperson for the Senator for Science and Ports, Tel.: +49 (0) 421 361-83158, e-mail: anabelle.becke@swh.bremen.de