Wind Energy: The case of Denmark

A technical critique of Denmark's wind energy development and operation. A brief summary of the report appears below. The full report can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Worldwide, we have witnessed the explosive growth in wind energy development. Politicians, government regulators, and wind proponents look to Denmark as an example of the successful deployment of wind energy.

This recent study presents a very different picture of Denmark's perceived successes. In the last eight years, West Denmark exports, on average, 57% of the wind power it generates and East Denmark exports an average of 45%. In dry years more than 70% of the power generated by wind is exported. So the rolling average of wind power consumption is at best about 12% and during some years, when the thermal plant is most busy supporting power supplies in the Nordic region, wind power consumption in Denmark can be as little as 4%.

However, most Danish politicians and many Danes deem its wind industry to be successful, and believe that Danish wind power is supplying almost 20% of Denmark's electricity in 2009. Believing this, the Danish Parliament reached a political consensus during 2008 that in 2025, 50% of Denmark's electricity demand must come from renewable resources, mostly wind power.

Although Danes have accepted the first generation of wind generators without much fuss and bother, they have since proven resistive to being asked to live alongside the giant wind turbines that have been developed during this decade.

Windenergy Thecaseof Denmarkfinal11 09 09

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SEP 11 2009
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