Record Addition Of Wind Energy Capacity In Denmark As Support Scheme Ends

World | Wind Energy

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

According to the Danish Ministry of Energy, a record number of wind turbines were connected to the grid in the period from January 2017 to late February 2018. This helps secure the government’s goal that at least 50% of Denmark’s energy needs must be covered by renewables by 2030.

The support scheme for land-based wind turbines expired on February 21st of this year. It is replaced by annual technology-neutral wind and solar tenders in 2018 and 2019. The expiry of the previous support scheme has resulted in a significant expansion with land wind turbines. The Danish Energy Agency’s (the monitoring and development division of the Ministry of Energy) initial estimate of the expansion over the last 14 months was 250 megawatts (MW). However, a total of 537 MW has been connected to the network during this period. That’s a very significant number considering the current total nameplate capacity is about 5.5 gigawatts.

“This major expansion with land based wind energy once again secures Denmark’s global leadership in the wind power industry.” says Lars Chr. Lilleholt (V), energy, supply and climate minister.

The aggregate of a total of 537 MW of land-based wind turbines results in an extraordinary expense of about 1.7 billion DKK of government funds, compared with the initial estimate of 250 MW.

“The old support scheme has been an attractive for Danish wind turbine developers. Therefore, I look forward to the forthcoming technology-neutral tenders in 2018 and 2019, where wind and solar will compete to deliver the cleanest energy to the Danes,” says the minister.

It will be interesting to see how wind will compete with solar in the next couple of years. More solar in the mix will probably be a good idea overall, with estimates of 20% solar and 80% wind being ideal, but on the other hand, it is important for Denmark as a wind turbine industry nation to stay ahead in the global wind power technology race.