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Interview: The Power of Wind

Denmark is Harvesting Wind Power and Strengthening the European Grid

Denmark has been the first country to fully embrace wind energy. Its wind revolution began in the 1970s. "Today, Denmark is still home to some of the most prominent players in the various disciplines, such as production of turbines, finance, installation, and project development," says Jan Hylleberg, CEO of the Danish Wind Industry Association. Denmark's leading position in the industry is also due to the fact that they've had large amounts of wind energy feeding their electricity grid. According to Hylleberg, last year more than 33% of the electricity came from wind energy This number is expected to increase to 50% in 2020.

Denmark has also been the first country to use wind turbines offshore. The first offshore turbines were deployed in 1991 and are still running. Hylleberg explains, "Today, it is a totally different ball game. - industrialization and professionalism have increased a lot. In Denmark, we hold second place for installed wind energy capacity offshore and we are currently planning for 1400 MW offshore to be installed by 2020. The largest current projects are the two offshore parks Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea (600 MW) and Horns Rev 3 in the North Sea (400 MW)." Offshore wind has large potential and Europe's capacity to generate it will increase 7-8 times before 2025. Leading companies based in Denmark such as Siemens Wind Power, MHIVestas Offshore Wind and DONG Energy hold a prime position in the growing market. Today, approximately 9 out of 10 offshore turbines are made by Danes.

For other countries, Denmark presents a real-world example of how wind energy can be used in large scale and across borders. "Some days, wind turbines produce what corresponds to more than l 00% of the electricity consumption. Danish energy companies and the TS01 are controlling the production and export of wind. This is quite unique and an example of how a region such as Europe can function in the future," says Hylleberg. Many companies in Denmark are already international players, carrying Danish knowledge beyond borders. Also, foreign companies are settling in Denmark to open R&D and production facilities, as the quality of wind research and innovation in Denmark is high and the country is well-positioned strategically in the wind energy market.

When it comes to exporting their energy; Denmark is part of the Nord Pool Spot electricity market. By letting the markets regulate the demand, it becomes possible to adjust the use of fossil energy as the use of coal and gas can be kept to a minimum on windy days and turned up on windless days.

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