Articles from Denmark
SAMSOE, Denmark -- In the late 1990s, Denmark set out to turn this farming and summer-vacation island in the Kattegat Sea into a showcase for clean energy. The government dangled generous financial subsidies. A former environmental studies teacher, Soren Hermansen, was hired to persuade residents to invest in wind turbines, solar panels, electric cars and giant straw-burning furnaces.
The excitement amongst Danish alternative energy producers was tangible late Wednesday night as US president uttered the words 'America is addicted to oil' and that something must be done about it.
Wind power has a defect: it only generates when there is a breeze, so it's no good for supplying peak electricity just when you need it. The Danes get around this problem by importing lots of electricity from Sweden and Germany, thereby passing the pollution problem to someone else, as well as quietly making use of Sweden's atomic stations. If the Danes didn't import electricity, they'd have to have more gas plants and so make even more emissions.
COPENHAGEN - Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems said on Tuesday it had won its biggest order in the United States with a contract with Horizon Wind Energy, sending its shares higher.
Shares in Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, plunged almost 14 per cent on Thursday as the Danish company downgraded its full-year forecast because of a severe shortage of key components, a sluggish output rate and budget overshoots in the US market.
There is an added irony here. The Danish consumer pays the highest tariffs for electricity in Europe. Much of these are hypothecated for the support of windmill owners. However, the wind power is sold on the spot market at rates that are much lower.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.