Wind power in Denmark
Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, and today a substantial share of the wind turbines around the world are produced by Danish manufacturers such as Vestas and Siemens Wind Power along with many component suppliers. Wind power produced the equivalent of 42.1% of Denmark's total electricity consumption in 2015, increased from 33% in 2013, and 39% in 2014. In 2012 the Danish government adopted a plan to increase the share of electricity production from wind to 50% by 2020, and to 84% in 2035. Denmark had the 6th best energy security in the world in 2014.
- 1 History
- 2 Wind resources
- 3 Capacities and production
- 4 Economic conditions
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
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. 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. On 29 March 1985, one year before the Chernobyl disaster, the Danes passed a law forbidding the construction of nuclear power plants. In the process the Danish grassroots movement had a substantial role. The Danish Anti-nuclear Movement's (OOA) smiling-sun logo "Atomkraft, Nej Tak" ("Nuclear Power, No Thanks") spread worldwide, and the renewable alternatives were promoted by the Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy (OVE).
Planning of wind power was deliberately streamlined by authorities in order to minimize hurdles.
Many countries tried to subsidize green technology such as wind power, and most failed to make a viable industry. The Danish system was an exception, providing 30% of initial capital cost in the early years which was gradually reduced to zero, but still maintaining a feed-in tariff.
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Denmark has relatively modest average wind speeds in the range of 4.9–5.6 m/s 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. 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. The wind resource over Denmark was mapped in 1999 by EMD International A/S and Risø National Laboratory. The mapping was made using a 200 m grid resolution using the models in WindPRO and WAsP. The results were validated on more than 1200 wind turbines nationwide.
Denmark is connected by transmission line to other European countries (e.g. Cross-Skagerrak) (at an electricity interconnection level (transmission capacity relative to production capacity) of 44%) and has traditional power plants, therefore it does not need to install additional peak-load plants 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 to 50% of consumption in 2020, and up to 84% in 2035.
Danish district heating plants use 100 Petajoule/year, but little of this consumption is from 180MW of electrode boilers installed in powerplants or 37MW of large heat pumps. The boilers are only used to soak up the powerplant's own electricity when prices are negative, to avoid paying tax. Expansion of wind powered district heating is calculated to be economically efficient without taxes.
Analysts expect the cost of wind power to be 30 øre/kWh and its handling cost to be 15 øre/kWh, being lower than coal and natural gas at 55 øre/kWh minimum. Due to their inability to follow load wind power gets a lower price.
Capacities and production
|Grid stability and wind share|
Denmark has the highest proportion of wind power in the world, with production: In 2015, Denmark set 42% of electricity from wind, up from the 2014record of 39% of total power consumption. For the month of January 2014, that share was over 61%. The month of lowest wind power share was July at 23%, however Denmark also had 548 MW of solar power (790 MW in late 2015). For 21 December 2013, the wind share was 102%, and for 1 hour the share was 135%.
In 2005, Denmark had installed wind capacity of 3,127 MW, which produced 23,810 TJ (6.6 TW·h) of energy, giving an actual average production of 755 MW at a capacity factor of 24%. In 2009, Denmark's capacity grew to 3,482 MW; most of the increase came from the 209 MW Horns Rev 2 offshore wind farm, which was inaugurated on September 17, 2009 by Crown Prince Frederik. In 2010, capacity grew to 3,752 MW, and most of the year's increase came from the Rødsand-2 off-shore wind farm. In 2014, the largest increase came from the 400 MW Anholt wind farm.
Wind power output reduces spot market prices in general via the merit order effect; in 2008 this caused a net reduction of pre-tax electricity prices (balancing the increase from the feed-in law).
|Installed wind capacity (kW)||52||813||1,090|
|Electricity generated (MW·h)||120||240|
|Installed wind capacity (MW)||2.7||6.3||10.6||14.3||19.8||47.0||72.4||111.9||190.3||246.7|
|Electricity generated (GW·h)||2||5||12||19||26||44||104||154||266||398|
|Installed wind capacity (MW)||326||393||436||468||521||600||814||1,123||1,438||1,753|
|Electricity generated (TW·h)||0.57||0.68||0.83||0.92||1.06||1.09||1.19||1.89||2.76||3.00|
|Installed wind capacity (MW)||2,390||2,497||2,890||3,116||3,123||3,127||3,135||3,124||3,163||3,482|
|Electricity generated (TW·h)||4.22||4.31||4.86||5.56||6.58||6.61||6.11||7.14||6.98||6.72|
|Wind power share in the electricity supply (%)||12.1||12.2||13.9||15.8||18.5||18.5||16.8||19.7||19.1||19.3|
|Installed wind capacity (MW)||3,752||3,927||4,162||4,792||4,855||5,030|
|Electricity generated (TW·h)||7.81||9.77||10.27||11.12||13.08||11.03|
|Wind power share in domestic electricity supply (%)||20.2||28.0||33.7||32.2||41.0||48.1|
|Wind power share in domestic electricity usage (%)||21.9||28.2||29.9||32.7||39.1||42.1|
As Denmark continues to install additional capacity, they continue to set new production records. This is a natural consequence of capacity growth. On July 9, 2015, in the evening, unusually strong wind conditions resulted in 116% of national electricity consumption being produced by wind farms and at 3AM the next morning at low demand, wind production exceeded 140% of current demand.
Future parks in Denmark
On 22 March 2012 a coalition of parties representing 95% of all members of the Danish parliament agreed that the Danish state would increase the country's offshore wind capacity by 1,500 MW. The 1,500 MW extra capacity will be achieved by constructing the future offshore wind farms Horns Rev 3 with a capacity of 400 MW in the North Sea at 77 øre/kWh and Kriegers Flak with a capacity of 600 MW in the Baltic Sea close to the borders of Germany and Sweden. Kriegers Flak will also be used to connect Denmark and Germany with a 400MW cable, through the German Baltic 2 Offshore Wind Farm, and Energinet ordered electrical equipment in January 2016. In addition 6 nearshore wind farms with a total capacity of up to 450 MW will be constructed along with 50 MW of experimental offshore wind farms. The first 350 MW were called for tenders in 2015, with a maximum price of 70 øre/kWh. Horns Rev 3 is set to be operational in 2019 while Kriegers Flak and all the nearshore wind farms are set to be fully operational around 2021. Eight groups applied for pre-qualification for Kriegers Flak, of which 7 were approved - 3 more than the 4 companies approved to compete for Horns Rev 3, both having more bidders than the single bidder for Anholt.
In addition to the offshore projects a further 500 MW additional net capacity of onshore windfarms is expected be constructed until 2020. The 500 MW of additional net capacity is the expected result of the scrapping of 1,300 MW capacity from obsolete wind turbines combined with the simultaneous building of 1,800 MW capacity of modern wind turbines - a process also known as repowering.
Electricity exports from Denmark
Annual wind power production is currently (2014) equal to about 39% of electricity consumed in Denmark. The proportion of this that is actually consumed in Denmark has been disputed, as the Norwegian hydro power is used as grid storage. For timeshifting trade with Norway, Denmark exports at DKK 157/MWh and imports at DKK 212/MWh. In 2014, there were 46 hours with negative prices, costing DKK 37.7 million.
According to the first argument, power in excess of immediate demand is exported to Norway, Sweden and Germany. The first two have considerable hydropower resources, which can rapidly reduce their generation whenever wind farms are generating surplus power, saving water for later, and can export electricity to Denmark when wind power output drops. Part of the benefit of this goes to Denmark's northern neighbours: when Denmark's wind farms are exporting power, it is sold at the spot market price, which sometimes falls to near or below zero. Danish prices are mainly negative when German prices are even more negative. In 2015, negative prices occurred in 65 hours in West Denmark and 36 hours in East Denmark - less than 1% of the time. The whole date of September 2 was the first time that no central power plants were running in West Denmark, and grid stability was maintained by compensators.
According to the second argument, the correlation between exports and wind power is weak, and a similar correlation exists with conventional thermal plants; meanwhile, causal analysis shows that export from Denmark typically occurs as a consequence of the merit order effect, when large thermal plants have reserve capacities at times the spot market price of electricity is high. In any case, the export price is the intermediate between the prices of the two areas, so the exporting TSO (Energinet) uses the profit to relieve tariffs at around DKK 500 million per year. This service of timeshifting production and consumption is also found around the world in pumped-storage hydroelectricity balancing coal and nuclear plants. Wind power organizations state that Denmark exports power at a higher price than it imports at.
Wind turbine industry
The Danish wind turbine industry is the world's largest. Around 90% 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. The return of investment dropped from near 20% before the financial crisis, to 10% some years later. The Danish wind turbine industry had a turnover of DKK 84 billion in 2014.
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. 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. New large turbines between 4-8 MW (including some non-Danish ones) are being tested at Østerild.
Danish wind economics
Actual consumer-paid incentives (PSO) to new wind turbines depend on year of commission, but is generally around 25 øre (3.4 eurocent) per kWh for a limited amount of hours, although support is discounted if combined price exceeds 58 øre/kWh. PSO is also used for biomass, solar, and district heating; total PSO was DKK 5.8 billion in 2013, of which DKK 3.2 billion went to wind power. Wind power displaces coal, oil and gas to some degree, reducing running cost for fossil fuels. Consumption of coal was more than halved over 10 years.
In 2009, the Institute for Energy Research commissioned the Danish think-tank CEPOS (Centre for Political Studies) to report on electricity exports from Denmark and the economic impact of the Danish wind industry. This heavily criticized report states that Danes pay the highest residential electricity rates in the European Union (mostly for government revenue, but partly to subsidize wind power), and that the cost of saving a ton of carbon dioxide between 2001 and 2008 has averaged 647 DKK (€87, US$124). It also estimated that 90% of wind industry jobs were transferred from other technology industries, and states that as a result Danish GDP is 1.8 billion DKK (US$270 million) lower than it would have been without wind industry subsidies of 1.7-2.6 billion DKK (roughly $320M - $480M) yearly in 2001-2005. The report was later heavily criticised. Firstly Danish engineering magazine Ingeniøren claimed that the report was ordered and paid for by the American oil and coal lobby through IER. Later, several Danish researchers and professors from all technical universities in Denmark, wrote a joint response to the report, refuting it. The report from CEPOS was even brought to Government level, where minister of Climate and Energy Lykke Friis discredited the work done by CEPOS and the report.
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 municipality. 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. 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.
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, as is the Avedøre near-shore turbines.
By 2001 over 100,000 families belonged to wind turbine cooperatives, which had installed 86% of all the wind turbines in Denmark. 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%. The cooperative model has also spread to Germany and the Netherlands.
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, claiming that it is the largest carbon-neutral settlement on the planet.[not in citation given] This claim exploits the general discourse, that one can neglect carbon-dioxide and other pollution from fossil fuel consumption (cars, imported electricity, heating for houses...), if the yearly average electricity production from sustained sources is higher than the total energy consumed.
- Energy in Denmark
- List of offshore wind farms in Denmark
- Electricity sector in Denmark
- Solar power in Denmark
- Hydrogen energy plant in Denmark
- Danish Organisation for Renewable Energy (OVE)
- Nordic energy market
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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. (...) For the whole country the degree of cover in 2005 was 13.6% (not 18.7% as stated by the Wind Turbine Industry), and in 2006 it was 10.3%, not 17%.Translation of "Analyse af Vindkraft i Dansk Elforsyning 2005 og 2006", Summary.
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- Sharman, Hugh (September 2009). "Wind Energy — The Case of Denmark" (PDF). Center for Politiske Studier (CEPOS). Retrieved 2010-04-14.