Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Denmark and windpower breaking new records

Because Denmark has no fossil fuel resources of her own, every bit of money saved by harvesting renewable energy goes straight to the nation's bottom line.  Besides, the Danes are very good at windmills—Vestas and all.  So it isn't so surprising that Denmark has gotten closer to powering her society with wind than anyone else.  If you follow the Vestas link, you can learn all about the fabulous V136—3.45 MW wind turbine.  The 136 is for the rotor diameter in meters which translates into 446'.  That, folks, is a serious piece of machinery

The USA has some primo wind sites.  I lived for a short while in NW North Dakota and I can assure you, there are some fabulous ones out there.  The big problem is that those wind sites are a LONG way from the country's population centers and without better means of electrical transmission, that distance is too far to be economically practical.  So a wind-based infrastructure must necessarily be very sensitive to local conditions.  This is a long way of saying—just because the Danes have gotten damn good at making windpower work doesn't mean their methods are relevant to USA.

In fact, my guess is that because USA has more places with abundant sunlight, PV cells will be much more important to any green energy future than wind.  But who really knows?—green energy is still quite young.

Denmark Just Broke The World Record For Wind Energy

The U.S. could learn a thing or two from the Danes

Lydia O'Connor, The Huffington Post, 01/18/2016

For the second year in a row, Denmark is the most wind-powered country in world history, Danish officials announced this weekend.

The Scandinavian country produced a whopping 42 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2015, the highest proportion ever achieved by a country, according to Denmark’s utility company, Energinet.

And for the first time ever last year, the country was able to turn off its large central power stations for an entire day and provide all electricity from wind turbines and other renewable energy sources.

This is the second year in a row that Denmark has set the record for wind energy; in 2014 it generated 39 percent of its electricity from the turbines.

The increase is partly due to an exceptionally windy year, the company conceded, but the jump is consistent with year-over-year increases since 2005, when Denmark was only producing about 19 percent of its energy from wind power.

The new record keeps Denmark on track to meet its goal of 50 percent wind energy by 2020 and 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2050.

"Hopefully, Denmark can serve as an example to other countries that it is possible to have both ambitious green policies with a high proportion of wind energy and other renewables in the energy supply, and still have a high security of supply and competitive prices on electricity,” said Lars Christian Lilleholt, the country's minister for energy, utilities and climate, according to The Guardian.

By comparison, the U.S. generated just over 4 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2014, the American Wind Energy Association reported last year. The group hasn't yet announced data from 2015.

President Barack Obama gave the wind industry a nod in his State of Union speech last week, extolling the energy source's increasing affordability.

"In fields from Iowa to Texas," he said, "wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.” more

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