Wind turbines in Denmark

The Danes’ perception

91 percent of Danes is pro the expansion of wind power in Denmark. Also when asked if modern, large wind turbines should be placed in one’s local area the attitude is positive. The most positive of all are neighbors themselves.
According to Danes the worst possible neighbors are highways and slurry tanks.
What would you least of all live next to?

Highway

40 percent

Slurry tank

39 percent

Trains

7 percent

Wind turbines

5 percent

Cellular sending mast

4 percent

Daycare center

2 percent

Do not know

4 percent

Made by Interresearch for Søndagsavisen, 2009

Wind turbine cooperatives

A wind turbine cooperative is a consolidation of individuals who together form a cooperative to share the expenses in regard to buying and owning one or more wind turbines. The reason for this form of ownership is the steep entry barriers related to buying a wind turbine. The price of the project is too high for an average citizen, but to co-own a turbine made it possible for everyone to get access to pollution-free, wind-made electricity. From 1984 to 1995 the majority of wind turbines installed in Denmark were set up by a cooperative.
Modern cooperatives arose in Denmark in the early 1980s, and were typically established as general partnerships, where each co-owner had one vote at the general assembly – regardless of the number of shares held.

The Danish way of erecting wind turbines

The Danish parliament agreed in March 2012 on a settlement that speeds up the readjustment of the Danish energy production to non-polluting, sustainable energy. In this process in-land wind turbines play a vital role, as the aim is to provide 50 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption from wind power. To achieve this goal all Danish municipalities have to plan and find locations for new wind turbines.
The erection of turbines in a municipality happens on the basis of two planning processes. Partly in the overall wind turbine plan, where the municipality decides which areas are to be pre-reserved for wind turbines. Partly in relation to a concrete project, when a developer wishes to erect wind turbines in a specific area. Both processes allow for local citizens to have their say.

The overall wind turbine plan
The wind turbine plan is drawn up either in connection with the ordinary revision of the municipality plan every four years, or revised on-going as an appendix to it. Either way, local citizens have a say twice in the overall process: in the phase of overall planning and in the phase where a specific project is being discussed. Often public meetings are held, where local citizens get to supplement their written ideas and remarks during conversations with decision-makers regarding the suggested local wind turbine project plan.

The concrete wind turbine project
When a developer wishes to erect large, modern wind turbines, projects need to be reported to the municipality. In continuation hereof a planning process takes start – as in the overall wind turbine plan – that usually includes both an idea phase and a public phase. In continuation of concrete wind turbine projects, the public has opportunities to influence the planning in both phases.
In the idea phase the municipality summons suggestions from the public to the overall municipality plan and the VVM report, which has to be completed as a part of the authorization procedure. The VVM report is a special report on the projects impact on the environment. In the subsequent public phase, which lasts a minimum of eight weeks, the municipality sends out a draft for a supplement to the municipality plan. The public can make objections, remarks, and alternative suggestions. As in the process for the overall wind turbine plan, public meetings are typically held in both the idea phase and the public phase about the concrete wind turbine project. Here neighbors and other stakeholders make their opinions heard to the local politicians.