Wind power in Denmark: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wind power provided 19.7 percent of electricity production and 24.1% of capacity in Denmark in 2007[1], a significantly higher proportion than in any other country.[2] Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, and today almost half of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas.[3]



As concerns over global warming grew in the 1980s, Denmark found itself with relatively high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, primarily due to the coal-fired electrical power plants that had become the norm after the 1973 and 1979 energy crises of the 1970s.[4] Renewable energy became the natural choice for Denmark, decreasing both dependence on other countries for energy and global warming pollution. Denmark adopted a target of cutting carbon emissions by 22% from 1988 levels by 2005.[4] In 1988, two years after the Chernobyl disaster, the Danes passed a law forbidding the construction of nuclear power plants.[5] In the process the Danish grassroots movement had a substantial role. The Danish Anti-nuclear Movement's (OOA) smiling sun logo "Nuclear Power, No Thanks" spread world wide, and the renewable alternatives were promoted by the Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy (OVE).

Wind resources

Denmark has relatively modest average wind speeds in the range of 4.9–5.6 metres a second measured at 10 m height. Onshore wind resources are highest in the Western part of the country, and on the Eastern islands with coastlines facing South or West. The country has very large offshore wind resources, and large areas of sea territory with a shallow water depth of 5–15 m, where siting is most feasible. These sites offer higher wind speeds, in the range of roughly 8.5–9.0 m/s at 50 m height.[6] There have been no major problems from wind variability, although there is a temporary problem resulting from the connection of a large bloc of wind power from offshore wind farms to a single point on a weak section of the transmission network.[7]

Denmark is connected by transmission line to other European countries and therefore it does not need to install additional peak-load plant to balance its wind power. Instead, it purchases additional power from its neighbours when necessary. With some strengthening of the grid, Denmark plans to increase wind's share even further.[8]


Electric-vehicle charging

A deal has been announced in 2008 between Project Better Place (Palo Alto, US) and Danish utility Dong Energy that will lead to mass production of electric vehicles and implementation of an extensive recharging and battery swap infrastructure. This will act as storage capacity for the country's wind power generation capability. "Two million electric cars in circulation ... would provide a standby capacity around five times the size of Denmark's needs ... with smart charging systems charging batteries when the power's plentiful, and even feeding power back into the grid when necessary."[9]

Capacities and production

In 2005, Denmark had installed wind capacity of 3,129 MW, which produced 23,810 TJ of energy. (6,6 TWh.) Wind power provided 18.2% of the total gross electricity production.[1] In 2006, the installed capacity increased to 3,136 MW.[10]

Installed wind capacity share in the electricity supply in Denmark by year[1][10][11]
Year 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Installed wind capacity (MW) 2,489 2,892 3,117 3,125 3,129 3,136 3,125
Wind power share in the electricity supply (%) 12.1 13.8 15.8 18.5 18.5 16.8 19.7

While wind power accounts for almost 20% of the power generated in Denmark, it covers only 10–14% of the country's demand. Power in excess of immediate demand is exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden. The latter two have considerable hydropower resources, which can rapidly reduce their generation whenever wind farms are generating surplus power, saving water for later. In effect, this is a cheap way for northern Europe to store wind power until it is needed – an opportunity which is not generally available for wind power generators.[12][13]

Among the installed wind power in Denmark is the world's currently largest offshore wind farm Horns Rev 2. This farm was inaugurated on September 17th 2009 by Prince Frederik.[14]

Wind turbine cooperatives

To encourage investment in wind power, families were offered a tax exemption for generating their own electricity within their own or an adjoining commune.[15] While this could involve purchasing a turbine outright, more often families purchased shares in wind turbine cooperatives which in turn invested in community wind turbines. By 1996 there were around 2,100 such cooperatives in the country.[15] Opinion polls show that this direct involvement has helped the popularity of wind turbines, with some 86% of Danes supporting wind energy when compared with existing fuel sources.[3]

The role of wind turbine cooperatives is not limited to single turbines. The Middelgrunden offshore wind farm – with 20 turbines the world's largest offshore farm at the time it was built in 2000 – is 50% owned by the 10,000 investors in the Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative, and 50% by the municipal utility company.[16]

By 2001 over 100,000 families belonged to wind turbine cooperatives, which had installed 86% of all the wind turbines in Denmark.[17] By 2004 over 150,000 were either members or owned turbines, and about 5,500 turbines had been installed, although with greater private sector involvement the proportion owned by cooperatives had fallen to 75%.[3] The cooperative model has also spread to Germany and the Netherlands.

Samsø Island

The island of Samsø erected 11 one-megawatt, land-based wind turbines in 2000, followed by ten offshore 2.3 MW wind turbines completed in 2003. Together with other renewable energy measures, this community of 4,200 achieved fame[18] as the largest carbon-neutral settlement on the planet.[19]

Wind turbine industry

A Vestas wind turbine

The Danish wind turbine industry is the world's largest. Around 90 percent of the national output is exported, and Danish companies accounted for 38% of the world turbine market in 2003, when the industry employed some 20,000 people and had a turnover of around 3 billion euro.[3]

The biggest wind turbine manufacturers with production facilities in Denmark are Vestas and Siemens.

The development of wind power in Denmark has been characterized by a close collaboration between publicly financed research and industry in key areas such as research and development, certification, testing, and the preparation of standards.[2] For example, in the 1980s, a large number of small Danish companies were developing wind turbines to sell to California, and the Danish Risø laboratory provided test facilities and certification procedures. These resulted in reliable products and the rapid expansion of the Danish turbine manufacturing industry.[20]

Professor Bent Ole Mortensen compared and contrasted the development of wind power in Denmark with that of the United States in a recent symposium in Houston that focused on economic and environmental barriers to wind power.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Danish Annual Energy Statistics 2007" (PDF). Danish Energy Authority. October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-17.  
  2. ^ a b "Wind energy: A visionary match". Risø National Laboratory. Retrieved 2007-04-21.  
  3. ^ a b c d The world's leader in Wind Power,, published 2004, accessed 2007-06-22.
  4. ^ a b Soren Krohn (2002-02-22). "Wind Energy Policy in Denmark: Status 2002" (PDF). Danish Wind Industry Association.,1033)/wind_energy_policy_in_denmark%3a_status_2002.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  5. ^ Caldicott, 2006, pp. 168–169.
  6. ^ Case Study: Wind energy in Denmark
  7. ^ Diesendorf, Mark (2007). Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy, UNSW Press, p. 121.
  8. ^ Diesendorf, Mark (2007). Greenhouse solutions with sustainable energy, UNSW Press, pp. 121–22.
  9. ^ Lettice, John (2008-04-27). "Denmark signs up for wind powered electric car switch". The Register. Retrieved 2008-11-24.  
  10. ^ a b "Global Wind 2007 Report". Global Wind Energy Council. 2007. p. 9. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  11. ^ Danish Energy Authority - Windturbines - introduction and basic facts
  12. ^ "Analysis of Wind Power in the Danish Electricity Supply in 2005 and 2006" (PDF). Techconsult. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2009-04-04. "It is often said that wind power covers ca. 20% of Danish electricity consumption. It is more correct to say that the production of power by Danish wind turbines corresponds to about 20% of electricity demand. But a considerable part of the wind energy produced is exported to neighbouring countries and thus does not cover any part of Danish electricity consumption."   Translation of "Analyse af Vindkraft i Dansk Elforsyning 2005 og 2006", Summary.
  13. ^ Sharman, Hugh (May 2005). "Why Wind Power Works in Denmark" (PDF). Proceedings of ICE, Civil Engineering (Thomas Telford, Ltd.): 66–72. Retrieved 2009-04-04.  
  14. ^ Matthew McDermott. "Denmark Inaugurates World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm - 209 MW" Treehugger.
  15. ^ a b Paul Gipe (1996). "Community-Owned Wind Development in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands". Wind Works. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  16. ^ Hans Christian Sørensen, Lars Kjeld Hansen, Jens H. Mølgaard Larsen (2002). "Middelgrunden 40 MW offshore wind farm Denmark: Lessons Learned" (PDF). SPOK Consult. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  17. ^ Jens H. Larsen, Copenhagen Environment and Energy Office (2001). "The world's largest off-shore windfarm, Middelgrunden 40 MW". Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Co-operative. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Boyle, 2004, p. 414.
  21. ^ Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal Symposium 2007


  • Boyle, Godfrey (2004). Renewable energy: Power for a sustainable future, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-926178-4
  • Caldicott, Helen (2006). Nuclear power is not the answer to global warming or anything else, Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0 522 85251 3

External links

Simple English


After the world's oil crises in the 1970s, Denmark started to develop wind power. In 1988, two years after the Chernobyl disaster, the Danes passed a law forbidding the construction of nuclear power plants.[1]

The Danes were pioneers in developing commercial wind power during the 1970’s and today almost half of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas.[2]

Wind power in Denmark provided 18% of the electricity produced in Denmark in 2005,[3][4] and cumulative installed capacity over recent years is shown in the Table below. However most of the wind power is exported abroad. The correlation between wind power and electricity export is very strong.[5]

Wind turbines are popular with people in Denmark.[6]

Year Installed Wind
Capacity (MW)
2001 2,489
2002 2,889
2003 3,116
2004 3,118
2005 3,122
2006 3,136

Sources: Global Wind 2005 Report, p.7
Global Wind 2006 Report, p.9

Other pages


  1. Caldicott, 2006, pp.168-169
  2. The world's leader in Wind Power
  3. "Wind energy: A visionary match". Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  4. Image of energy production increase
  6. The world's leader in Wind Power


  • Caldicott, Helen (2006). Nuclear power is not the answer to global warming or anything else, Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0-522-85251-3


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address