Numbers have just come out this week from danskenergi.dk, the Danish energy organization whose members support companies in delivering steady green power to the Danes, with an impressive uptime of 99.99% at competitive prices.
A New Record
Wind turbines delivered power equivalent to 43.6 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption in 2017. This is a new milestone in the effort to transition the energy supply system in the country to be carbon neutral.
2017 ended in a stormy December — which I covered here — and the year totaled an output of about 14,700 GWh derived from data from Energinet.dk. Thus, 2017 became a new record year for wind in Denmark. There was a dip in 2016, but now the trend is clear once again:
Image credit: danskenergi.dk
Lars Aagaard, CEO of Dansk Energi, emphasizes that it is very important we utilize the combination of this amazing wind resource and the ability to supply incredibly stable power supply. “Electricity must replace gasoline, oil and gas,” he says.
Fewer & Better Turbines
Although wind turbines deliver a steadily increasing share of the Danish electricity supply, that does not mean that the number of turbines increases. On the contrary, today there are about 20% fewer wind turbines in Denmark than in 2001, when the number of wind turbines peaked. In 2017, about 6,100 wind turbines were in service according to the Danish Energy Authority.
The turbines have become bigger and more efficient. In addition, the majority of Denmark’s offshore wind turbines have been installed since 2001. Overall, capacity in Denmark has more than doubled since 2001, with today’s 5.3 GW wind capacity installed on land and water.
The two turbines in this picture are placed a couple of miles from my house. They are 600 kW each and they replaced four 150 kW turbines on the same hill some 20 years ago — an increase in total from 600 kW to 1,2 MW. In five to ten years, these two turbines will probably be replaced by a single new 3 MW turbine or larger — at least another doubling.
By 2020, wind is expected to reach 50 percent of the electricity consumption in the country. In total, renewable energy, including solar and sustainable biomass, will cover 80 percent of electricity consumption in Denmark.
State-of-the-Art Energy Grid
To get an idea of how this is possible, take a look at the current status of energy production and distribution in Denmark:
Image credit: Energinet.dk
Note the immense amount of power being exchanged between the countries this relatively quiet evening. Denmark is in a unique position this way. And remember that when storage gets implemented over the years, the utilization of the transmission lines can easily double.