The first exploration licenses for land-based storage of CO2 in Denmark have been granted

Published 20-06-2024

Carbon capture and storage plays an essential role in fulfilling climate goals – and in Denmark, the development is on its way. Now, for the first time ever, exploration licenses for land-based CO2 storage have been granted.

Today, three licenses to explore and potentially store CO2 in different parts of the Danish underground have been granted. This means that the possibility of land-based CO2 storage has moved much closer.

The tender included five underground structures. They have been selected based on a comprehensive collection of data on the subsoil conducted by the Geological Survey for Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Danish Energy Agency's strategic environmental assessment of the areas – this will help ensure that storage can take place safely and properly.

”This is concrete and important climate action. We must capture carbon from the industries that are hard to abate and put it in our underground to reach our climate goals. Last year, we opened the door to exploration and storage of CO2 in the Danish part of the North Sea – and now, we are opening that door on land. We must utilize the fact that our underground is ideal for CO2 storage,” says Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard.

Initially, the licenses are for exploration. If – based on a thorough exploration – the licensees can present safe and secure storage projects they can apply for a storage license as well.

In that case, the projects can start pumping CO2 into the Danish underground. The CO2 must be pumped at least 800 meters into the underground where the designated structures are sealed by a dense layer of clay.

To ensure that citizens in the areas have access to information, the Danish Energy Agency will hold an informational meeting before summer. Besides that, it is a requirement that the licensees and authorities must inform about the projects afterwards.

”We know the technology and we know the Danish underground – but it is important to listen to the neighbors of the projects. Storage will only take place if the exploration shows that it can be done in a safe and responsible way with people, the environment and nature in mind. The authorities and licensees have a big task ahead of them to ensure dialogue and involvement of the local communities,” says Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard.

Last year, the first three exploration and storage licenses were granted in the Danish part of the North Sea. Now, the time has come for licenses on land, and the next step is licenses close to the Danish shore.

In addition to the licenses, the first winners of the Danish tender round for carbon capture and storage have been found. This means that we will see projects emerge around the country in the years to come – and the next tender round is on its way.

Facts about the five structures

  • The companies Wintershall Dea and INEOS plan to store carbon in the ’Gassum’-structure as part of their ’Greenstore’-project.
  • The company CarbonCuts plan to store carbon in the ’Rødby’-structure as part of their ’Ruby’-project.
  • The companies Equinor and Ørsted plan to store carbon in the ’Havnsø’-structure as part of their ’CO2 Storage Kalundborg’-project.
  • A license has not been given for the ’Thorning’-structure this time. The structure will be re-offered after summer. As it is a re-offer, the deadline for applications is expected to be short.
  • A license has not been given for the ’Stenlille’-structure this time. A potential re-offer of it is being clarified.   

Contact the press offices of the Ministry for Climate, Energy and Utilities on +45 41 72 38 05