Denmark's Wind Energy Output Just Exceeded National Demand

Denmark's Wind Energy Output Just Exceeded National Demand

When it comes to renewable energy, Denmark is officially kicking arse. Yesterday, Denmark's wind farms produced 116 per cent of national electricity demands, allowing the country to export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden. According to The Guardian, that figure had risen to 140 per cent by early Friday morning.

"It shows that a world powered 100 per cent by renewable energy is no fantasy," the European Wind Energy Association's Oliver Joy told The Guardian. "Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonization -- and also security of supply at times of high demand."

Denmark has long been a global leader in renewable energy. With almost unanimous political consensus, the 5.6 million-strong Danish population has in recent years pushed aggressively for the installation of new wind farms across the country, with the goal of producing half of its electricity via renewable sources by 2020. And in 2014, Denmark announced to the world that it aimed to end burning fossil fuels entirely -- not just for electricity, but for transportation -- by 2050.

This week's wind energy milestone places what sounded to be a very audacious set of goals within reach for the small Nordic nation. The latest wind energy figures can be found on the Danish transmission systems operator website The site, The Guardian notes, showed that Danish wind farms weren't even operating at their full 4.8GW capacity at the time of the recent peaks.

Keep on truckin' Denmark. You're giving the rest of us hope.

[The Guardian]

Picture: Tumbling Run / Flickr

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    Because of energy taxes, Denmark has the highest household electricity prices in the world,[27] while industries pay just below EU average.[28] Transmission costs are around 7 øre/kWh, and support regimes cost 19 øre/kWh in 2014.[29]

    All sounds just marvellous, but what happens when the wind doesn't blow? No electricity unless the Danes buy it from those nasty smelly co2-belching coal- or gas- powered generators. Dream on windbags!

      Isn't that what energy storage devices like batteries are for? I don't imagine this technology will remain as static as your way of thinking.

      With wind farms in different locations i guess there shouldn't be such as issue. If they install enough capacity for 300% then even at 1/3 capacity it will cover 100%. That is of course minus solar installations that they have.. So its not a pipe dream. i mean night times have to use about 15% of peak daytime use..
      Daytime solar + wind and nighttime = just wind..
      Throw in a tesla battery in 5 years and you then have

      Solar + wind + storage..

    And all we ever do is destroy prime farming land to dig up coal because wind turbines are seen as ugly by our prime minister.

      You still have to dig up (gasp; MINE) the materials used to build a wind turbine. Unless of course you think unicorns birth them?

        Yes, but once you've built your wind turbine, it doesn't require you to build another one the next year to maintain power output. Obviously some maintenance is required, but ongoing costs are much lower.

        Not to mention you're no longer dumping sulphur and whatever other random minerals were mixed into the coal directly into the air.

      It's not so much turbines being ugly as fossil fuel industry cash being so attractive.

    Please,don't worry about all the birds you are killing,or the noise pollution you are causing.

      Yeah those damn destructive wind farms, nothing compared to the natural splendour and beauty of a coal mine, they're practically wildlife sanctuaries in comparison

        Do you think wind turbines are birthed from unicorns? You do realize you still have to create a mine to source the raw materials? You do know that don't you?

      I agree. What we need is more of those emissionless, silent, enviromentaly friendly, fossil fuel guzzling power stations.

      This is a joke, right? Sometime sarcasms does not translate well into text.

      @Two Tents
      Are you a vegetarian TT? If not why all of a sudden the concern about birds?

      In the thirty-five odd years that wind farms have been around, there have been many advances in the technology. In recent years bladeless 'bird safe' designs have been tested and have proven not only viable but more efficient and quieter. Altamont Pass, in the US is one of, if not the, largest wind farm in the world with 5,400 wind turbines all of which are systematically being replaced by bladeless ones. Although it is mostly because the existing turbines are over 30 years old but also due to the fact that it was built on a major migration route for birds of prey.

    Denmark has managed to increase their cost of electricity to over 40 US$ cents/kw-hr by their green policies. No thanks.

      Yeah cos who needs a healthy sustainable planet when you have low energy costs...

      No thanks? Even after the repeal of the carbon tax, our latest power bill was at AU 41.56c per KWh... thats even with out 'green policy'.

    It's even worse than that. The SMH is reporting that our current Liberal Government has ordered the Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to make any new investments in wind power projects.

    It's easy to pick the comments posted by the coal miners...

      Actually I think Gizmodo might be starting to be frequented by commenters who are paid to prop up certain parties (similar to what is happening in Russia with Putin's social networking propaganda team), its just a feeling I have but I've noticed a whole bunch of comments lately from people who seem so intensely one eyed on subjects that it just seems dodgy as.

        This. There seem to be a lot of guest comments here. Sorry people, but most Australians want renewable energy sources and are smart enough to not believe the crap being peddled.

          Most people want affordable electricity.

            I think you'll find that people are MOSTLY interested in having a viable planet for their grandkids.
            Maybe there's a few sociopaths out there that just care about their immediate personal gratification, but surely most sane people want to leave the planet in better shape than they found it ?
            Wouldn't you agree ?

            If that were the case, we'd be burning the nastiest yet cheap shit we could find to power the generators.... Oh wait, brown coal.

            Then why do many people buy Australian made when there are cheaper options. Sometimes cost is not a factor when you are talking about your country or keeping it beautiful. Ask the people in Beijing with massive amounts of cancer and lung problems if they still prefer cheap power :D

            It's never cheap like you think. Pollution needs to eventually be cleaned. and in the end trying to get sunlight through a haze of smog is an impossible task. We need to start when sunlight can still make it through.

            Maybe "most people" should try saving power instead. As a European, the waste of energy I've witnessed since I came to Oz two years ago, is absolutely appalling. Don't start that crap about affordable power. It'll only make people think, power is just something that happens to come from thin air. Electricity is a luxury and if the rest of the world used like the developed countries do, we'd all be dead within a day.

              "It'll only make people think, power is just something that happens to come from thin air"
              Surely the irony of this statement, on an article about windpower is not lost on you ?

            It isn't a zero-sum game, no matter how hard the government will try (and seemingly succeed) to convince you.

        Spot on.
        At first, I was "Wow, lotsa comments" but then I noticed that the majority of them were guest accounts, especially the stupid posts.

        Have noticed this trend on both the local site and US version.
        Simple solution - is it's a guest account, it's not worth the time to read it. They'll be racing off soon enough to demonise another blog post elsewhere.

    Those Danes know nothing.

    "Coal is the future," beloved prime minister Tony Abbott.

      "Sorry for contributing Global Warming and all the cancer"
      - Not Tony Abbott

    Hey Tony, Fuck you!

    You should find another distributor. I'm paying 22.5c/kwh.

      It depends on your location and the power station and how much power they must pump through to hit your house.. every postcode is different

    For home owners solar panels means not having to pay high prices anyway. With a small amount of panels our bill halved without claiming inputs. It would be better again once storage is viable. Why would we not want clean air and cheaper bills?
    There does need to be a program to encourage panels onto rental houses though as at the moment has no incentive as it costs them but the tenant benefits.

      I agree. Any product mass produced should be cheaper to produce than those that are artisan made. Solar cells should be no different. If it were made mandatory that all new houses were built with a hybrid power system, then these systems should become more affordable. Then adding them to rental properties and eventually existing homes, should reduce the overall grid demands significantly. Re rental properties, the landlord would benefit by the extra value added to the house.

    To all the dreamers out there that think a wind turbine is magically birthed from a unicorn. You actually need to MINE the materials used to make them. There's not much difference between the look of a coal mine to that of an iron ore mine. So wind turbines are doubly as UGLY to the environment! Plus they require a constant grid fed power source to keep them safely operational.

      So mining resources to build a product that will produce power with little running costs and minimal replacement parts for decades


      Mining a thing that we set on fire

      Mate, i hope you aren't in charge of anyone's finances.

      With regard to the grid power source, there are lot of ways to store power. All of them involve some loss, but since the extra is free...

      Batteries; compressed air; pumping water up/downhill; fuel cells; and quite a few others.

      You really don't put a lot of thought into your statements, do you ?
      As you're a guest here, you're probably not aware that you can't just loudly drown out people with a different (or even logical) point of view, like you're used to.
      Inconvenient, I know.

      There is a finite amount of materials we can mine out of the earth. Of all the ways that it could be utilised, at first glance, setting fire to it appears to be monumentally stupid.
      Some people weren't convinced, so it was validated by studies ad infinitum showing the detrimental effect on both environment and humans.
      So now it's official - it's still moronically stupid way to use a finite resources, with only morons promoting this as a continued 'solution'. Sorry Tony, didn't see you there.

      Building a resource that will sustain power for generations to come would be a better use of those resources, no ? Or are you going to stick with your unicorn analogy and the myopic view there is unlimited minerals to mine ? We may be dreaming, but yours is a nightmare.

      To save you making the accusation that I'm a vegan, tree kissing hippy who sips herbal teas in the lotus position, I'm going to disappoint your expectations and state I'm none of those.
      But what I am, is being a good father to my children, and not a negligent one.

      Last edited 14/07/15 6:33 pm

    This article completely overlooks the different population and geographical characteristics of the two countries. Wind farms need lots of open space, and Denmark, unlike Australia, is an enormous, sparsely populated country, where a widely distributed power infrastructure permits generation of power local to regional population centres rather than being carried for hundreds of kilometres cross-country.

    Or was it the other way 'round?

    Ok, I'll bite ;-)

    CEFC is to provide finance for things that traditional banks wouldn't touch due to risk. You can read the CEFC directive two ways: Either the tech is mature enough that you can get your loans without taxpayer assistance, or that the Libs are evil and want to destroy the industry.

    A lot of people will opt for #2, but then if that's the case it implies that a) the tech is not mature and b) it's too risky for a normal bank to invest. If that's the case there are problems. One could argue then that if the industry has not proven itself over the last 30 years then should investment in renewables go elsewhere?

    The Libs have not made any secret of the fact they want to shut down the CEFC, but to make some of the assertions some have made are a bit of a long bow at the least.

    Should the state pop taxpayer funds into investments that banks won't touch due to speculation risk?

    I think we have some appetite for this, and moving investments away from things that should be fine on their own, to some of the more innovative and new tech coming (and note, the CEFC legislation prevents investment in Carbon capture which I think is a good move. However I'm bummed they can't invest in some of the newer nuke tech that uses alternatives to U and does not 'melt down' due to the external reaction required using laser tech).


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