Many states and countries have established goals to generate at least half of their electricity from renewable sources by some future date, typically 2030. A number of countries have already been able to achieve 50% or greater renewable generation for brief periods measured in days. Australia did it this past November. Germany has seen it on occasion as well.
Denmark has managed to complete an entire year with half of its energy coming from renewable generation. Almost all of it – 47% of the country’s power – came from wind turbines.
Denmark has been generating much of its energy from wind power for quite a while and actually produced about 46% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2017. Denmark was a pioneer in developing commercial wind power during the 1970s, is a major manufacturer of wind turbines, and the small country has installed over 6,000 of them. The gains this past year mostly came from the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm that went online in the fall. The 407 MW wind farm has the capacity to cover the annual electricity consumption of about 425,000 households, which is about 20% of the country.
The growth of wind power in Denmark is still ramping up. A 600 MW wind farm in the Baltic Sea will be connected to the Danish and German electricity grid by 2021, and a wind farm of at least 800 MW capacity in the North Sea is scheduled to come online in 2025.
The Danish Parliament has passed an ambitious climate law with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030 compared with 1990. The country’s overall goal of being carbon-neutral by 2050 does not seem like a pipe dream.
Denmark Passes Magic 50% In Renewable Electricity Generation Milestone
Photo, posted July 12, 2009, courtesy of Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
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