Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
With the utilisation of wind energy featuring in each Danish energy strategy, the country has made use of its wind resource since the early 1980s. The installed wind turbine capacity grew slowly but steadily until the mid-1990s when growth became very rapid. This situation continued to end-2002, when capacity totalled some 2 900 MW. At that point further onshore expansion ceased, owing to a substantial rise in the investment risks incurred by the turbine owners selling production on the electricity market. This was caused by a set of complicated regulations and a reduced environmental premium paid to wind power.
The wind energy market was influenced during 2004 by a political agreement that encouraged the establishment of offshore wind turbines, together with the introduction of a market-orientated pricing system for wind, leading to increased R&D. In the same year a second re-powering scheme was launched for replacing wind turbines sited in unfavourable positions with new installations in more suitable locations. Following on, in June 2005, the Government published its Energy Strategy 2025 in which economically viable on- and offshore wind power will both play a rôle. Environmental considerations are central to the Strategy and within six months the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) had begun to formulate a plan for the siting of offshore wind turbines in the period 2010-2025, taking these into consideration.
At end-2005 total installed wind power stood at 3 129 MW, comprising 5 293 turbines and supplying 6 614 TWh (18.5% of Denmark's total electricity consumption). Capacity at end-2006 was very similar to the end-2005 position but owing to poor wind conditions during the period generation was over 7% down.
The country has the world's largest offshore wind farms: the 160 MW (80 x 2 MW) Horns Rev installation in the North Sea was commissioned during 2002. It is located 14-20 km offshore from the western Danish coast, off Blaavands Huk. During 2003, a sister farm (Nysted) was installed in the Baltic Sea, south of the island of Lolland. Nysted consists of 72 x 2.3 MW turbines.
The Government's 2004 agreement called for two more offshore wind farms, each of 200 MW and tenders were duly called for. Horns Rev II will be located about 10 km to the west of the existing farm. An EIA was submitted to the DEA in October 2006 which stated that the farm would be commissioned by end-September 2009. During 2005 the DEA received tender bids for a second farm at Nysted in preparation for evaluation.
In addition to supplying the home market, Denmark is a major supplier of wind turbines to the world: during 2004, the two largest manufacturers, Vestas and Siemens had a global market share of more than 40%. There are also many Danish companies specialising in wind turbine component manufacture.
With the highly significant role that Denmark plays in the world wind industry, R&D is of the utmost importance. A multidiscipline consortium comprising the Risø National Laboratory, the Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University and the Danish Hydraulic Institute plays a significant part in the R&D programme and the first three named are numbered amongst the 40 European partners of the UpWind project. The aim of UpWind, formed in March 2006 and funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme, is to undertake research into all design aspects of the 8-10 MW turbines that are considered to be necessary for the wind farms of the future.