Library filed under General from Denmark
Danish utility Dong Energy has announced that it is to proceed with the development of the Horns Rev II offshore wind farm in the North Sea off Esbjerg. The new site will be situated to the north of the existing Horns Rev facility, and will require an investment of approximately DKK3.5 billion.
These offshore windmills are situated in the North Sea near Esbjerg, Denmark
Almost a fifth of the electricity produced annually in Denmark is generated by wind, yet only about 6% of the country’s electricity demand is satisfied directly from this source. Possibly two-thirds of its wind power output cannot be used to satisfy domestic needs at the moment of generation, and has to be exported (often at reduced prices) to preserve the integrity of the grid. Savings in carbon emissions are minimal. Public opposition and reduced subsidies have halted the deployment of on-shore wind turbines for the time being, but political and commercial interests are pressing to integrate much larger amounts of wind power into radically altered domestic and international transmission systems.
Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use. Renewable fuels provided 18% of the world’s total electricity supply in 2004, according to figures from the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization. Almost all of that, though, came from hydropower, a source with limited growth potential because of geographic constraints. The use of wind and solar power is growing, but they still generated only 1% of global electricity production in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available.
Wind power lessons in the North Sea paved some of the road to a proposed 200-turbine wind farm off Delaware’s shoreline. One of the most important findings recently shared from offshore projects in Denmark: Big wind farms can operate with few environmental risks to birds, fish and other aquatic creatures “under the right conditions.” “Appropriate siting of offshore wind farms is an essential precondition for ensuring limited impact on nature and the environment,” the Danish Energy Authority reported in November. Denmark released its report after plugging in what is now the world’s largest offshore wind operation: Two sites with 152 turbines located up to 12.4 miles offshore. “Appropriate” is the key word to Susan Nickerson, a Massachusetts environmentalist who attended a conference in Denmark to mark release of the report last year. “The big discussion that’s unfolding here is: How much data do you need preconstruction, and how much should this concept of ‘adaptive management’ be relied upon,” Nickerson said.
The government’s plan to increase the nation’s reliance on green power could expand a black hole that already sucks nearly two billion kroner out of consumers’ pockets annually. In order to promote construction of wind turbines, the government has agreed to purchase the electricity they generate at a minimum price. The guaranteed prices have had the desired effect: some 5300 wind turbines dot the Danish countryside, producing 18.5 percent of all electricity generated. The practice has its downside, however. The guaranteed prices for wind power results in an overproduction that cost the state an excess DKK 21.6 billion between 2001 and 2005, according to figures from the National Audit Agency. Due to the uncertainty of whether the wind will blow, Energinet.dk, the organisation responsible for ensuring that the country can meet its electricity demand, has to keep a reserve of conventionally produced electricity in case the wind dies down. The extra cost is typically passed on to consumers in the form of higher electric bills.
The country’s energy companies are not convinced that wind power is the way of the future................. The companies believe that coal-powered electricity will still be the largest supplier of the nation’s energy, despite the trend toward environmentally-conscious sources. ‘Wind energy can’t solve the energy problem in the near future because it’s too unstable and possibly too expensive,’ said Anders Eldrup, chief executive of Dong.
A sweeping plan to dramatically increase the European Union’s use of renewable energy sources by 2020 has Danish politicians and exporters looking towards a greener future. Renewable energy use in the EU currently sits at 6 percent, but, according to Børsen financial daily, the European Commission’s forthcoming proposal for a common energy policy would increase that level to 20 percent within two decades. Much of the increase will rely on sources such as wind and bio-ethanol, areas where the nation is already strongly represented on the world market. Exporters are seeing the proposal as an opportunity to increase their share of European sales.
Rube Goldberg would admire the utter purity of the pretensions of wind technology in pursuit of a safer modern world, claiming to be saving the environment while wreaking havoc upon it. But even he might be astonished by the spin of wind industry spokesmen. Consider the comments made by the American Wind Industry Association.s Christina Real de Azua in the wake of the virtual nonperformance of California.s more than 13,000 wind turbines in mitigating the electricity crisis precipitated by last July.s .heat storm.. .You really don.t count on wind energy as capacity,. she said. .It is different from other technologies because it can.t be dispatched.. (84) The press reported her comments solemnly without question, without even a risible chortle. Because they perceive time to be running out on fossil fuels, and the lure of non-polluting wind power is so seductive, otherwise sensible people are promoting it at any cost, without investigating potential negative consequences-- and with no apparent knowledge of even recent environmental history or grid operations. Eventually, the pedal of wishful thinking and political demagoguery will meet the renitent metal of reality in the form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (85) and public resistance, as it has in Denmark and Germany. Ironically, support for industrial wind energy because of a desire for reductions in fossil-fueled power and their polluting emissions leads ineluctably to nuclear power, particularly under pressure of relentlessly increasing demand for reliable electricity. Environmentalists who demand dependable power generation at minimum environmental risk should take care about what they wish for, more aware that, with Rube Goldberg machines, the desired outcome is unlikely to be achieved. Subsidies given to industrial wind technology divert resources that could otherwise support effective measures, while uninformed rhetoric on its behalf distracts from the discourse.and political action-- necessary for achieving more enlightened policy.
Both supporters and opponents of the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm are hailing the findings of recent research on the environmental impact of Danish offshore wind turbines. Supporters of Cape Wind Associates' plan to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound say the research released last week at an international conference supports their contention that wind farms pose little threat to wildlife. But Cape Wind foes say the Danish research highlights the need to carefully study the environmental impact of offshore wind turbines on a case-by-case basis.
The nation that leads the world in wind-farm development is going cool on the environmentally friendly source of power. Since the boom year of 2000, when as many as 748 turbines were erected, the number being built in Denmark has steadily fallen. So far this year, only six new wind turbines have been put up. While many countries around the world are clamouring to buy Danish wind turbines, Denmark’s government is finding it difficult to convince its own population to accept an increase in the domestic use of the green technology. Describing turbines as “poorly located, noisy and unsightly”, a number of local authorities, backed by grass-roots campaigners, are rejecting plans for new wind farms.
This offshore windmill park at Middelgrunden near Copenhagen, Denmark, contains 20 white windmills.
The country’s pioneering role in wind energy is threatened unless local governments ease building codes, warns the minister of the environment. Strict zoning codes have virtually halted the construction of new wind turbines in Denmark, according to Marianne Bender, the chairperson of the Organisation for Sustainable Energy. While 748 turbines were put into operation in 2000, that number fell to a mere 6 in 2006. ‘Protests from citizens and lobby organisations have hindered the building of wind turbines many places in the country,’ she told daily newspaper Nyhedsavisen. ‘At the same time, one of the government’s first actions was to remove subsidies so turbines had to compete on market conditions.’
A twin national focus on renewable energy and reduced consumption - combined with North Sea oil reserves, have helped to make Denmark the only EU country not reliant on imported energy, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat.
PARIS As recently as two years ago, few energy analysts believed that ocean power - harvesting electricity from tides and waves - had a future. Offshore conditions seemed too harsh, the costs too high. The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based research body that advises western governments, dismissed the technology in one paragraph in a 570-page study of energy resources that it published in 2004, saying it was "still in its infancy." But with crude oil heading to $80 a barrel, interest - from both investors and researchers - has surged.
WPD and Wind-projekt filed “open door application” for a 455MW offshore wind farm at the Danish part of Kriegers Flak.
BOSTON — A Danish wind farm developer yesterday encouraged Massachusetts legislators to support off-shore wind power, saying concerns about navigation, the view and the environment could be resolved.
Most shocking of all is new evidence that the need to switch on and off base load fossil fuel power plants, to provide back up for unreliable wind turbines, actually gives off more carbon emissions than keeping them running continuously, thus negating any carbon savings from wind. Alas, only when our governments have allowed thousands more turbines to disfigure Britain’s countryside, not least by their grotesque bending of the planning rules, will the futility of the ‘great Wind Scam’ finally be recognised.
Extracts from the attached promotional piece. The full report may be purchased from ABS.
At LM Glasfiber in Lunderskov, Helge Sander, the Danish Minister of Science, has inaugurated the world’s first wind tunnel custom-designed for research and testing of the aerodynamic properties of rotor blades.