Denmark, Where Wind Supplies 40% of Electricity

Scotland had a banner year for wind in 2014, supplying 32% of electricity (and over 100% for six months), and Denmark did even better, at 39.1%.

Yes, Denmark is close to getting 40% of its electricity from wind, keeping its title as the world leader. January was the strongest month, when wind reached 61.4% of the total.  

The country is on track to meet 2020 goals of using wind for half its electricity, while reducing fossil fuels to 29% of the mix,  Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Minister of Climate and Energy, told Ritzau, a Danish news service. 

The news is especially impressive considering that in 2000, Denmark relied on fossil fuels for 84% of electricity.

Another target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2020 (from 1990 levels), partially by phasing out coal. All this is to reach the ultimate goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

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In Denmark, however, electricity accounts for just 10% of total energy consumption, giving wind a 5% share of the whole pie, according to the Danish Energy Association. The next step is to convert heat sources to run on electricity, such as through combined heat and power (CHP). Investing in heat pump systems will allow heat to be produced by wind. 

The challenge is for supply and demand to match. "Wind development shoots itself in the foot in the sense that rapid expansion makes the price of electricity drop drastically at times. Therefore, we need to look at both how we can control consumption smarter and how we can use more electricity for warming our homes and for electric cars, for example," Lars Aagaard, CEO of the Danish Energy Association (Dansk Energi) told Politiken.      

Read our article, Denmark Updates Climate Targets, Creates Climate Investment Fund.

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