Wind power in Denmark

Wind power in Denmark

Wind power provided 19.7 percent of the Denmark's electricity in 2007, a significantly higher proportion than in any other country.cite web | title= Danish Annual Energy Statistics |url= | publisher = Danish Energy Authority | date = December 2006 | format = XLS | accessdate=2007-01-27] cite web |url=|title=Wind energy: A visionary match| publisher=Risø National Laboratory|accessdate=2007-04-21 |format= |work= ] [ [ European wind companies grow in U.S.] ] Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s and today almost half of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas. [ The world's leader in Wind Power] , "", published 2004, accessed 2007-06-22]


As concerns over global warming grew in the 1980s, Denmark found itself with relatively high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, primarily due to the coal-fired electrical power plants that had become the norm after the 1973 and 1979 energy crises of the 1970scite web | author=Soren Krohn | title= Wind Energy Policy in Denmark: Status 2002 |url=,1033)/wind_energy_policy_in_denmark%3a_status_2002.pdf | publisher = Danish Wind Industry Association | date = 2002-02-22 | format = PDF | accessdate=2007-09-08] Renewable energy became the natural choice for Denmark, decreasing both dependence on other countries for energy and global warming pollution. Denmark adopted a target of cutting carbon emissions by 22% from 1988 levels by 2005. In 1988, two years after the Chernobyl disaster, the Danes passed a law forbidding the construction of nuclear power plants. [Caldicott, 2006, pp.168-169] In the process the Danish grassroot movement had a substantial role. The Danish Anti-nuclear Movement's (OOA) logo the "Smiling Sun, No Thanks" spread world wide, and the renewable alternatives were promoted by the Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy (OVE).

Wind resources

Denmark has relatively modest average wind speeds in the range of 4.9 to 5.6 metres per second measured at 10 m height. Onshore wind resources are highest in the Western part of the country, and on the Eastern islands with coastlines facing South or West. The country has very large offshore wind resources, and large areas of sea territory with a shallow water depth of 5 to 15 m, where siting is most feasible. These sites offer higher wind speeds, in the range of roughly 8.5 to 9 m/s at 50 m height. [ [ Case Study: Wind energy in Denmark] ] There have been no major problems from wind variability, although there is a temporary problem resulting from the connection of a large bloc of wind power from offshore wind farms to a single point on a weak section of the transmission network. [Diesendorf, Mark (2007). "Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy", UNSW Press, p. 121.]

Denmark is connected by transmission line to other European countries and therefore it does not need to install additional peak-load plant to balance its wind power. Instead, it purchases additional power from its neighbours when necessary. With some strengthening of the grid, Denmark plans to increase wind's share even further. [Diesendorf, Mark (2007). "Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy", UNSW Press, pp. 121-122.]

Electric vehicle charging

A deal has been announced in 2008 between Project Better Place (Palo Alto, US) and Danish utility Dong Energy that will lead to mass production of electric vehicles and implementation of an extensive recharging and battery swap infrastructure. This will act as storage capacity for the country's wind power generation capability. "Two million electric cars in circulation ... would provide a standby capacity around five times the size of Denmark's needs ... with smart charging systems charging batteries when the power's plentiful, and even feeding power back into the grid when necessary." []

Capacities and production

In 2005, Denmark had installed wind capacity of 3,129 MW, which produced 23,810 TJ of energy. Wind power provided 18.2 % of the total gross electricity production, and 18.5 % of the electricity supply in Denmark. In 2006, the installed capacity increased to 3,136 MW.cite web | title= Global Wind 2007 Report |url= | page=9 | publisher = Global Wind Energy Council | date = 2007 | accessdate=2008-08-12]

Wind turbine cooperatives

To encourage investment in wind power, families were offered a tax exemption for generating their own electricity within their own or an adjoining commune. cite web | author=Paul Gipe | title= Community-Owned Wind Development in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands |url= | publisher = Wind Works | date = 1996 | accessdate=2007-06-21] While this could involve purchasing a turbine outright, more often families purchased shares in wind turbine cooperatives which in turn invested in community wind turbines. By 1996 there were around 2,100 such cooperatives in the country. Opinion polls show that this direct involvement has helped the popularity of wind turbines, with some 86% of Danes supporting wind energy when compared with existing fuel sources.

The role of wind turbine cooperatives is not limited to single turbines. The Middelgrunden offshore wind farm - with 20 turbines the world's largest offshore farm at the time it was built in 2000 - is 50% owned by the 10,000 investors in the Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative, and 50% by the municipal utility company.cite web | author=Hans Christian Sørensen, Lars Kjeld Hansen, Jens H. Mølgaard Larsen | title= Middelgrunden 40 MW offshore wind farm Denmark: Lessons Learned |url= | publisher = SPOK Consult | format=PDF |date = 2002 | accessdate=2007-06-21]

By 2001 over 100,000 families belonged to wind turbine cooperatives, which had installed 86% of all the wind turbines in Denmark.cite web | author=Jens H. Larsen, Copenhagen Environment and Energy Office | title= The world's largest off-shore windfarm, Middelgrunden 40 MW |url= | publisher = Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Co-operative | date = 2001 | accessdate=2007-06-21] By 2004 over 150,000 were either members or owned turbines, and about 5,500 turbines had been installed, although with greater private sector involvement the proportion owned by cooperatives had fallen to 75%. The cooperative model has also spread to Germany and the Netherlands.

amsø Island

The island of Samsø erected 11 one-megawatt, land-based wind turbines in 2000, followed by ten offshore 2.3MW wind turbines completed in 2003. Together with other renewable energy measures, this community of 4200 achieved fame [] as the largest carbon-neutral settlement on the planet. []

Wind turbine industry

The Danish wind turbine industry is the world's largest. Around 90 percent of the national output is exported, and Danish companies accounted for 38 of the world turbine market in 2003, when the industry employed some 20,000 people and had a turnover of around 3 billion euro.

The development of wind power in Denmark has been characterized by a close collaboration between publicly financed research and industry in key areas such as research and development, certification, testing, and the preparation of standards. For example, in the 1980s, a large number of small Danish companies were developing wind turbines to sell to California, and the Danish Risø laboratory provided test facilities and certification procedures. These resulted in reliable products and the rapid expansion of the Danish turbine manufacturing industry. [Boyle, 2004, p.414]

Professor Bent Ole Mortensen compared and contrasted the development of wind power in Denmark with that of the United States in a recent Symposium in Houston that focused on economic and environmental barriers to wind power. [ [ Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal Symposium 2007] ]

ee also

*Energy policy of the European Union
*List of wind turbine manufacturers
*Wind farm
*Hydrogen energy plant in Denmark
*Preben Maegaard
*Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy (OVE)



*Boyle, Godfrey (2004). "Renewable energy: Power for a sustainable future", Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-926178-4
*Caldicott, Helen (2006). "Nuclear power is not the answer to global warming or anything else", Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0 522 85251 3

External links

* [ Danish Wind Industry Association]
* [ Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative]
* [ NREL Signs MOU With Riso National Laboratory]
* [ Massive Offshore Wind Turbines Safe for Birds]
* [ Why wind power works for Denmark]
* [ Increasing wind energy to bring economic benefits]
* [ Danish Wind Energy development 1975 - 1995 by Blade Pioneer Erik Grove-Nielsen]

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