Denmark suspends reviewing wind power projects over possible EU law conflict

FILE PHOTO: Wind turbines are seen from the Vejers Strand beach

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Danish Energy Agency has suspended reviewing existing and new applications to install new wind farms and other renewable energy projects in the country over a potential conflict with European Union law, it said in a statement late on Monday.

"The Danish Energy Agency has suspended the processing of offshore wind projects and other renewable energy projects under the open door scheme," it said.

Apart from issuing public tenders, Denmark also allows energy companies to submit unsolicited applications to install renewable energy projects under the so-called "open door scheme".

Granting permits under this programme, however, could violate EU law, it said. It did not say how many applications it was currently processing.

"It is a serious situation for the green transition and especially for the market players who are ready to invest in this form of offshore wind," Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities Lars Aagaard, said in the statement.

Aagaard said he had reached out to the European Commission to resolve the matter.

"I can assure you that I will be pursuing prompt responses on behalf of those applicants who are currently left uncertain about the future of their projects," he said.

Denmark aims for a fivefold increase in offshore wind power capacity by 2030. The current permitting suspension would not affect that target, the energy ministry said.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; editing by Jason Neely)