Documents from Denmark
If you really want to cut energy consumption, reduce pollution, improve public health and protect our environment, it’s time to contact your elected officials, educate them about the lessons of Denmark, Germany and elsewhere, and tell them you want tougher energy efficiency measures instead of wind power plants. Otherwise, in the next few years, you’ll be looking at wind turbines in some of your favorite places, with the knowledge that they’re doing little more than funneling your tax dollars to a few lucky corporations and landowners, and away from better solutions.
This thesis studies the impact of large amounts of wind power on the Nordic electricity system. The impact on both the technical operation of the power system and the electricity market are investigated.Editor's Note:The author's focus on the averaging effect of a multitude of small wind turbines spread over a large geopgraphical area understates the reliability problems associated with wind power, particularly the cascade effect as wind turbines drop off-line.
Denmark (population c. 5.4 million) is a leading pioneer in renewable energy. Since 1985 it has set up about 3,100 MW of wind capacity. Of this 420 MW are sited offshore (Nielsen, 2004), and more is planned for the near future (Bendtsen and Hedegaard, 2004). Over the same period many small gas- or bio-fuelled CHP plants were deployed, primarily for local district heating but also to produce electricity. Interest in solar power is also considerable.
Appearing in the July 2004 issue of "The Utilities Journal", author David White responds to Steffen Nielsen's article appearing in the May 2004 issue extolling the success of wind generators in Denmark. White contends that Nielsen tells only half the story by omitting many important aspects of the Danish program particularly the cost, annual availability and operability of wind generation. White concludes: "it makes no economic sense to progress an expensive and unpredictable power-generating technology in order to see a parallel carbon dioxide reduction goal when the evidence clearly indicates the objective will not be met."
This significant research by van den Berg explains why turbine noise as far away as 1900 meters (more than 6,000 feet) is resulting in complaints by residents particularly at night. The paper concludes that noise immission predictions are not accurate and result in the understating of turbine noise levels, particularly during nighttime conditions.
During the 1990s, West Denmark experienced a revolution in its generating capacity. Wind capacity grew from almost nothing in the mid-1980s to more than 60% of peak, local consumption in 2002. Similarly, the electricity generating capacity of smaller, decentralized CHP grew from very small beginnings in the late 1980s to almost 50% of the six, central CHP power plants that supply all the major towns with district heating. In a single decade, the nominal generating capacity of West Denmark more or less doubled. In 2002, renewable, mostly wind energy supplied the equivalent of roughly 19% of West Denmark’s consumption. This will increase to 21%, or so, during 2003. There are about 2.7 million residents in West Denmark, so the number of wind generators per head of population is 1.74 machines per 1000 people. In the UK, this would amount to about 100,000. West Denmark is therefore the most intensely wind mill populated land on the planet.
With limited reserves of only oil and gas and the perceived onset of global warming, Denmark has a great incentive to develop new technologies for exploiting alternative sources of renewable energy and reducing energy demand. One of its many options is the harnessing of wind energy - a route that it has explored in great detail. This report describes some serious problems encountered in the extensive deployment of wind turbines in Denmark, and briefly summarises published accounts of the experiences and opinions of variously implicated Danish and foreign organisations and bodies.
This paper analyses aspects of environmental policy in Denmark, including, among others, policy on surface water quality, clean air and support for renewable energy, waste disposal and transport policy. Environmental policies are an important priority in Denmark, with implementation often highly decentralised, but in some cases environmental objectives have been pursued at what seems a high price, perhaps through a wish to support the development of a domestic industry or to protect existing industry from loss of competitiveness. The paper criticises some of the arguments used in favour of this high cost approach in a number of contexts, including wind power subsidies, the carbon tax and the treatment of nutrient discharges from agriculture. The paper also discusses a number of innovative and efficient policies introduced or planned, for example the new approach to promoting renewable energy (including wind power) through tradable “green certificates” and a CO2 trading scheme in electricity production. In some areas, such as policy for non-hazardous waste, apparent expansion of the role of economic instruments (through a series of differentiated taxes on disposal) seems to be dominated in practice by quantitative targets which may not provide the best outcomes.
Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in moving air into rotational energy, which in turn is converted to electricity. Since wind speeds vary from month to month and second to second, the amount of electricity wind can make varies constantly. Sometimes a wind turbine will make no power at all. This variability does affect the value of the wind power……Editor’s Note: This ‘fact sheet’ is, on the whole, a comparatively fair report. The definitions provided for capacity factor, efficiency, reliability, dispatchability, and availability are useful. Its discussion of back-up generation, marginal emissions and Germany & Denmark, however, is disingenuous as is, to a lesser degree, its discussion of capacity factor and availability. IWA's comments (updated October '06) on these issues follow selected extracts from the 'fact sheet' below.
Vestas' current wind turbine products and related specifications are available by clicking on the web link.
This addresses the most important challenges confronting Eltra, the Transmission System Operator in Western Denmark.