Denmark?s World Record for Wind Power Generation
Last year, Denmark generated over 42 percent of its electricity using wind turbines alone, beating their own world record for wind power generation, set during the previous year, by 3 percent. This is the highest proportion of wind power generation for any country and puts Denmark well on the path to reaching its target of providing at least 50 percent of its energy from wind power generation by 2020.
In 2014, Denmark supplied 39.1 percent of its electricity needs through wind power, setting their original world record for wind power generation. On top of managing to beat this already impressive feat by 3 percent in 2015, they even reported that on one day they met 140 percent of their demands. In fact, on average, Denmark produces surplus energy; which they sell to neighbouring countries such as Norway, Germany and Sweden, 16 percent of the time.
When Denmark is unable to generate enough electricity from wind power to meet its demands it will usually turn to Norway for hydroelectricity or Germany for solar in order to remain one of the world’s biggest renewable energy users. If all else fails, the country still has coal and biomass to support them.
How do they do it?
Denmark were able to achieve these impressive accomplishments despite two of its major wind farms being inoperative. Had these wind farms being in operation it is likely that they would have been able to achieve 43.5 percent of their electricity from wind power.
The Scandinavian nation were pioneers in developing wind power generation in the 70s so they are not new to the word of renewable energy. A substantial share of the wind turbines used around the globe have been developed by Danish manufacturers.
The country of Denmark benefits from modest wind speeds around the country, with reasonably high onshore wind resources in the Western parts and large areas of sea territory with shallow water depth providing excellent offshore conditions.
However, 2015 was a particularly windy year for Denmark, contributing greatly to their wind power generation achievements.
Is there more room for improvement?
In the year 2000, wind energy accounted for just 12.1 percent of Denmark’s total electricity consumption. Over the years this figure has steadily increased with wind energy accounting for 18.5 percent of total consumption in 2005, 21.9 percent in 2010, 32.7 percent in 2013 and 29.1 percent in 2014 before reaching its current high of 42.1 percent in 2015.
Denmark plan to increase this to 50 percent by 2020 and hopes to to provide 90 percent of its overall electricity from wind power generation by 2030 – much higher than what was agreed upon during the Paris summit last year.