The need for wind energy

Energy, environment, and climate

In Denmark, as well as internationally, the CO2 reductions and the concern for the environment are important factors in the energy politics of today.

When wind turbines deliver one kilowatt-hour to the electricity grid, the production of electricity produced by e.g. coal and natural gas is lowered, which saves the environment of emission of SO2, NOX, and particles into the atmosphere. As wind power in the future will be used to drive electrical cars and heat pumps, the use of fossil fuels for transport and heating will be lowered as well.

The UN’s Kyoto protocol obliges Denmark to reduce its CO2 emission and, furthermore, we have an obligation to observe the EU’s reduction target. According to the EU’s climate and energy package, sustainable energy will make up 30 percent of the electrical consumption in Denmark by 2020. The government’s target is that sustainable energy by 2050 will cover 100 percent of consumption and wind power will provide half of the electricity consumed by 2020.

Analyses show that wind power is a socio-economic efficient way to reduce CO2 in Denmark. Wind power – and especially land-based windmills – are our cheapest green technology and when environmental and health costs are included, wind power is also cost-competitive compared to coal powered electricity.

Energy and climate

Development of the electricity system

Energy and the environment

This is why we must erect wind turbines

We can – and we must!

Denmark is world champions – both in the share of wind power and in CO2 emission. Both world records oblige! Denmark is the country that has the undisputed largest share of electricity consumption from wind power. But there is no reason this should be a reason to rest. We can – and must – reach a lot further.
Danes are among the most CO2 emitting nationalities in the world. Therefore the energy system should be develiped further. There is a need for a cleaner and sustainable energy system. Adding to this, more windpower reduces import of fuels and helps to ensure security of supply.

Environment and climate

In Denmark a wind turbine can typically replace the electricity production from a coal fueled power plant. The environmental impact and the greenhouse effect will be reduced and society saves costs for import of coal and other fuels.

A share in a wind turbine cooperative is typically 1,000 kWh. If these 1,000 kWh are produced with wind power instead of coal power, we avoid 332 kg of coal being burned and the environment is saved for the following emissions:

  • CO2 (greenhouse gas): 772 kg
  • SO2 (sulphur dioxide): 80 kg
  • NOx (nitrogen oxide): 180 kg
  • Particles: 20 kg
  • Slag/ashes: 52 kg

Broad political support

In March 2012 95 percent of the Danish parliament agreed on a long-term energy agreement with the following concrete goals for 2020:

  • CO2 emissions must be 34 percent less than it was in 1990
  • More than 35 percent sustainable energy
  • Almost 50 percent of our energy consumption must be supplied through wind power

Regarding wind power, an expansion of 2,000 MW in new capacity by 2020 was decided:

  • 1,800 MW new capacity on land (herein included 1300 MW to replace existing wind turbines)
  • 500 MW of inshore wind turbine (later revised to 400 MW)
  • Tender of a combined 1,000 MW large-scale-off shore wind turbines

The sustainable process

Comprehensive information and planning, early inclusion of the public, opportunity for co-ownership – and lots of constructive dialogue. That is the recipe for a successful planning process.