Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Danes do renewables well

It turns out you do not need to be a superpower with a massive industrial base to make great progress in a conversion to renewable energy.  In fact it could be argued that that all you need is a tiny nation with a highly educated electorate, a seriously organized work ethic, and a reasonably honest government.  Sounds like Denmark?  Well it can be argued that the Danes are the closest to having a renewable energy society of any on earth.

Breakthrough-Now 25 Percent, Aims to 50 Percent by 2020

Apr 03, 2013

When it comes to the adoption of renewable energy, Denmark has an impressive record of accomplishment.

Just last year, Denmark's government report stated a goal-to get 35 percent electricity from wind power by 2020, and an extraordinary 100 percent from renewables by 2050. However, the nation has been working quickly to advance its ample offshore wind potential. Last month, with the installation of their 36th 3.6-megawatt (MW) Siemens wind turbine to electric grid, the nation reached a remarkable 1,000-megawatts wind-power capacity - enough to power 25 percent of the Danish households. Moreover, through an all-inclusive adoption of energy-efficient terms and technologies, they aspire to be 50 percent powered by wind farms by 2020. This means the country's adoption of renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure is running ahead of schedule.

It is not a simple achievement as it was not a simple task for the nation. The latest turbine installation of the Anholt complex itself will include 400 megawatts of capacity when completed for the facility, which is one of five significant wind farms in Danish waters. According to Forbes, however, this is set to soon be overwhelmed as the government puts out a call for bids for an additional 1,500 MW (1.5 GW), of offshore wind.

In the near term, biomass and gas power will accompany wind power, in an effort to take all coal-fired plants offline within 20 years.

To integrate effective occurrence of the wind energy with minimal disruption, the nation must continue to use a number of existing tools, while substantial changes occur. One critically important element used today is hydro storage capacity in neighboring Norway (which is supplied by 99% hydro) and Sweden (over 50% hydro), supported by robust interconnection transmission lines. When the nation generates more wind energy, neighboring countries receive power through transmission lines. In turn, they simply regulate back their hydro plants and store more water behind dams for later use. When there is increase in demand for electricity, power can flow the other way. In other words, "Norway and Sweden's hydro systems serve as large batteries in a larger interconnected system."

According to Inhabitat, Copenhagen provides a remarkable example of motivated planning with an aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 through a number of strategies. Nationwide, the government appears equally hopeful for embracing wider sustainable practices. The government hopes to have 200,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, and recently installed Europe's first nationwide electric car charging network. Better Place estimates by 2014 that there could be 20,000 electric cars on Danish roads. more

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