Country Reports

Wave energy is estimated to be able to contribute with power equivalent to 15% of the Danish electricity consumption and create opportunities for export of components, products and jobs. Several different wave power systems at different scales are being developed and tested.

The Danish wave energy developers have created the “Partnership for Wave Power” and prepared a strategy for development of wave energy in 2012 followed by roadmaps in 2015, which aim at Danish and international commercial success for the wave power sector by 2030. The funding required to support the development in Denmark is estimated in the order of DDK 5-20 million /year. The partnership meets twice a year and share their experience accumulated from R&D and tests in the sea.

DanWEC test site is being developed with Greenlab funding. Two wave rider buoys have been launched and a seabed survey has been carried out over an area in the sea south-west of the harbour. This area has been accepted by authorities for test purposes, and at the moment the wave energy system Wave Piston has a permit to test in this area and deployed their anchoring system during the summer of 2015. 

The Danish wave energy sector is involved in co-operate projects funded by European Union (EU) as well as international collaborations.


In 2015, the Partnership for Wave Power published a set of roadmaps for development of wave power, which aim at Danish and international commercial success on the wave power sector by 2030. The roadmap work has been funded by the Danish Energy Agency.

National energy development programmes such as EUPD, and the Danish Strategic Research Council are able to fund development of wave energy, as well as other sources.

A new law for the use of marine space has circulated for comments at the end of 2015. The purpose of the law is to establish fair rules for the use of marine space in addition to the traditional sectors such as fisheries and transport. It concerns economic, social and environmental conditions, as well as safety aspects in order to support sustainable development and growth in the maritime sector, using an ecosystem-based approach, and the promotion of coexistence of different relevant activities and users:

  1. energy sector of the sea,
  2. maritime transports,
  3. fisheries and aquaculture,
  4. extraction of raw materials at sea, and
  5. the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment,including resistance for consequences of climate change.

Wave energy converters to be tested at DanWEC or at other locations in Danish waters will typically receive a temporary permit for deployment over the testing period for one or two years. Such permit can be obtained by filling an application to the Danish Energy Agency that will process the application.

The experience from prototype testing at DanWEC is very important in order to achieve the long term goals of reliable wave energy conversion. DanWEC includes two sites – a benign site in Nissum Bredning which has a maximum wave significant wave height Hsmax of about 1 meter – and an exposed site at Hanstholm with Hsmax up to 6 meter. In 2015, the exposed area was defined as shown on the figure below – it covers from 10 – 28 meter water depth in a distance of about 2 – 3 km from Hanstholm harbour.

DanWEC Test area south of Hanstholm harbour covers an area of 2800 m x 1600 m




Mooring solutions for large wave energy converters is a project funded by EUDP. The project is coordinated by Aalborg University and four large wave energy converters are being investigated under the project.

All Danish wave energy developers are participating in the Partnership for Wave Power; this partnership includes WaveStar, Floating Power Plant, Crestwing, Leancon, WaveDragon,Weptos, WavePlane, Joltec, Resenwave and KNSwing as illustrated in the figure below.

Denmark is involved in co-operate projects under EU and the standardisation work under IEC.

Denmark is involved in co-operate projects under EU and the standardisation work under IEC



Wave Piston
In 2015, Wave Piston installed their system technology at DanWEC in order to test new innovative lightweight, lowcost components and solutions to harvest wave power. The technology includes a number of submerged plates on a string stretching between two anchor buoys hold in place by to anchors – the plates will surge and react against each other activating pumps producing pressurized water.

Leancon is a V-shaped structure incorporating 52 OWC chambers. The design and manufacturing of a 24-meter wide scale 1:10 model has been completed more or less single handed by the inventor Kurt Due who launched the WEC in the sea in July 2015.

The project has been funded by After a period of six month with four significant storms and exposure to the harsh environment, the structure has been taken to shore for inspections and processing of experience and impact on structure and moorings, before further testing and measurements are undertaken.

The 24 meter long Leancon system was installed in 2015
at the test site in Nissum Bredning

Crestwing consists of two hinged pontoons with a mechanical PTO moored using a flexible three point mooring system developed in co-oporation with Seaflex to minimize the footprint of the installation on both the sea surface and the seabed.

The turret anchor solution allows the WEC to turn 360° and has full automatic connection and disconnection.

Crestwing prototype 10 meter wide 30 meter long 2,5 meter high
with a weight of 60 tons



WaveStar (, has announced successful Horizon 2020 contract negotiations and signed a consortium and grant agreement to produce and test the first full scale 1 MW Wavestar. The consortium behind the EU application consists, among others, of STX, IFP EN, DNV and Aalborg, Gent and Cantabria Universities.



The Danish Partnership for Wave Energy arranges biannual meetings and workshops for the members and other interested parties. The workshops are conducted to allow for a transfer of experience gained by the individual developers as a basis for achieving the long term goal of developing reliable and cost-effective wave energy solutions.



Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is used as a decision tool for offshore wind. Specific ocean energy space is not reserved.

The Danish Parliament and the various Governments of Denmark have in their Energy Agreements focus on offshore and nearshore spatial planning in the long-term goal for Danish energy policy. The latest Energy Agreement (Energy Bill) for the period 2012-2020 has specific focus on offshore wind turbine sea-spaces (Kriegers Fak and Horns Rev) as well as 6 dedicated offshore coastal areas.

Pre-selected areas for ocean energy have not been defined. However, historic test sites are recognized as potential areas by authorities.

Spatial planning is coordinated with other interests, at the sea territory. In Denmark the following core public authorities administer the maritime spatial planning:

• The Danish Coastal Authority (an agency under the Danish Ministry of the Environment) – responsible for the use of the coast (together with local Municipalities) and the seabed (e.g. power cables) in Danish territorial waters, including coastal protection and erosion abatement;
• The Danish Maritime Authority (a government agency under the Ministry of Business and Growth) – responsible for maritime safety and the use of the sea territory;
• The Danish Energy Agency (an agency under the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building) – the conditions for offshore farms are laid down in the Promotion of Renewable Energy Act. It provides in its chapter 3 that the right to exploit energy from water and wind within the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone (up to 200 nautical miles) around Denmark belongs to the Danish State;
• The Danish Environmental Agency (an agency under the Danish Ministry of Environment) – responsible for the EIA together with the Danish Energy Agency;
• The Ministry of Defense – responsible for the monitoring of maritime traffic and marine environment, rescue services and handling of pollution at sea.

Three licenses are required:

• License to carry out preliminary investigations – consent in 1-2 months. Investigations cover MetOcean, Seabed Bathymetry, EIA, Maritime Safety, decommissioning plans and public hearing and can take from few months to several years depending on the complexity on the area (e.g. EU Nature 2000 area, fishing and breeding bounds, coastal conditions, landscape and seaview conditions and values, etc.);
• License to establish the offshore site (only given if preliminary investigations show that the project is compatible with the relevant interests at sea);
• License to exploit ocean power for a given number of years and an approval for electricity production (given if conditions in license to establish the project are kept).

The consenting process last from few months for a single device at unproblematic sites to several years.

The Danish Energy Agency is the “one stop shop” facility for the ocean energy consenting process.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The assessment is based on an analysis on the following topics: technical solutions, maritime and environmental safety precautions, organizations planning process and consent to environmental risks, and involvement of and consent by relevant other interests at sea.

The Danish Energy Agency and the Danish Environmental Agency are both the entities responsible for the decision on whether an EIA is required. Monitoring of e.g. offshore wind turbine parks are made by the owners. Decommissioning plans must be presented at application and performed at the end of e.g. periodic ocean technologies test programs.

The legislation falls under the renewable energy act:

• “Promotion of Renewable Energy Act”
• “Energy Agreement (Energy Bill) for the period 2012-2020”

Consultation is done at the stage of the preliminary investigations.

Local Municipality has to be consulted and public hearing meeting published and held. For the less visible ocean technologies and sites outside the public reach (surfing, diving, bathing, leisure sailing, landscape and seascapes values) the process can be simple and short. For visible technologies the process can take longer.

Informal consultation activities can be implemented during the licensing process by direct contact with the authorities.

There is guidance available to help developers during the process through the energy authority and e.g. DanWEC.

Wave energy converters to be tested at DanWEC or at other locations in Danish waters will typically receive a temporary permit for deployment over the testing period - one or two years. Such permit can be obtained by filling an application to the Danish Energy Agency that will process the application.