Reuters: Denmark Rapidly Ramping Renewables

January 2, 2020

Reaches new record.


COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark sourced almost half its electricity consumption from wind power last year, a new record boosted by steep cost reductions and improved offshore technology. 

Wind accounted for 47% of Denmark’s power usage in 2019, the country’s grid operator Energinet said on Thursday citing preliminary data, up from 41% in 2018 and topping the previous record of 43% in 2017. 

European countries are global leaders in utilising wind power but Denmark is far in front of nearest rival Ireland, which sourced 28% of its power from wind in 2018 according to data from industry group WindEurope.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in October that while power generated from wind turbines at sea only accounts for 0.3% of today’s global electricity generation, capacity is set to increase 15-fold over the next two decades. 

Denmark aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, with a new climate law passed late last year targeting an increase in the share of electricity sourced from renewable power to 100%. 

Denmark, home to wind turbine giant Vestas and the world’s largest developer of offshore wind Orsted, has favourable wind conditions and began investing heavily in wind power in the 1970s.

12 Responses to “Reuters: Denmark Rapidly Ramping Renewables”

  1. jimbills Says:

    The companion piece to this is here (and it should have been mentioned in the Reuters article linked to this post):

    The real question is wind capacity. The amount of wind fluctuates year-to-year. For instance, in Denmark for actual wind production:

    2015 – 42%
    2016 – 37.6%
    2017 – 43.6%
    2018 – 41%
    2019 – 47%

    Capacity has only increased marginally in that time. But if Denmark moves ahead with the $30-$45 billion project covered in the Reuters article linked in this comment, then that is actual rapid development.

  2. […] via Reuters: Denmark Rapidly Ramping Renewables | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    I have a notion that Europe is taking its target seriously to become (almost) carbon neutral by 2050.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      progress will be more rapid than is “officially” predicted in the 2020s.
      We know this because progress on renewables has always been much faster than predictions.
      Whether that’s fast enough is anyone’s guess, and the thing we all have to work on.

      • Sir Charles Says:

        Fingers crossed! Let’s go taking on the world’s toughest energy challenges 😉

      • jfon Says:

        Germany turned off another reactor last week – Phillipsburg 2, capacity 1468 MW, capacity factor about 90%. That’s equivalent to a third of Denmark’s wind output on a yearly basis. They’re closing another five reactors over the next two years.
        Denmark has continued to burn coal even when there was good wind blowing, because most of it’s heating has been from coal plants connected to district heating networks, using waste heat from the generators. More recently they’ve been burning biomass instead, but that still emits CO2. The plan is to move to large heat pumps to provide the heat for the district networks. Trouble is, they’ll need power all winter, and the wind doesn’t blow all winter. The sun doesn’t shine much in Denmark either. Sweden, which has a lot of hydro and nuclear, also uses district heat pumps, but is in a better position to keep them going. Finland is looking at using dedicated small reactors just for district heating. They’re much lower pressure, and much cheaper, than a full size power reactor, and the uranium fuel is also much cheaper than coal, per kilowatt.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        The technical bottlenecks will be transmission line buildout and trying to establish secure and robust standards for control software.

        Ideally, they won’t outsource the software to cheaper engineers (a la Boeing).

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      A lot of Europeans got a wake-up call with the July, 2019 heat wave. They were getting central Texas temperatures, and their infrastructure isn’t designed for that.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Floating Wind Farms adding to power generation options and showing potential in Europe.

    Floating Wind Farm Starts Generating Power Off Portugal’s Coast

    A wind turbine floating off the coast in northern Portugal began transmitting electricity to the grid, a crucial step for a technology that could vastly increase the potential for offshore wind power.

    The WindFloat Atlantic project is backed by European energy companies EDP Renovaveis SA, Engie SA and Repsol SA and uses the floating platform developed by Principle Power Inc. Three turbines with a combined 25 megawatt capacity will eventually be connected, helping to advance the economic viability of floating wind farms in the increasingly competitive market for renewable energy.

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