Denmark reported record-breaking wind power in 2019, covering 47% of the country’s electricity demands for the entire year.
European countries have established a firm leadership in wind energy, and Denmark is definitely among the top of the pack. Out of the 47% of the wind-generated electricity, most came from onshore (29%), although offshore also generated a healthy amount (18%).
In fact, it was the increase in offshore wind that drove the increase from last year’s 41% figure. The main contributor is the partial commencement of operations at the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm in the North Sea in August.
Horns Rev 3 is a 400MW offshore wind farm proposed built and operated by the Swedish state-owned energy company, Vattenfall Vindkraft. The wind farm is expected to supply power to approximately 450,000 Danish households.
Of course, Denmark’s favorable conditions also offer it great renewable potential. The country of almost 6 million people is mostly a peninsula, surrounded by water for most of its length. However, geography alone is not enough to generate renewable energy. Denmark also started investing early in wind energy, and has implemented a series of supportive policies for renewables. As a result, the country has become a leader in wind generation as well as wind turbine manufacture.
The geography of Denmark is favorable to wind energy, but then again so is that of Florida — and Florida isn’t even close to Denmark’s performance.
Denmark also doesn’t plan on stopping here. Their goal for 2020 was to generate 30% of its energy through renewables (not just for electricity), and that’s already been surpassed. The current goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030. The country even passed a climate law last year mandating an increase in the share of electricity sourced from renewable power to 100%. It’s not just electricity either.
According to a recent report, 38.4% of the energy consumed in the heating sector of Denmark comes from renewable sources, although the bulk of that is still biomass. Electrical cars are also increasingly popular in Denmark, and 10% of the energy for transportation comes from renewable sources.
Overall, just over 30% of the country’s energy is coming from renewables. If Denmark is successful in this, they will raise the bar and set an example for other countries to follow.
As the Horns Rev 3 wind farm continues to switch on, producing some of the world’s cheapest clean energy, there’s little reason to doubt that they will do so.
Hopefully, Denmark will set an example — one that will also be followed by other countries.