Denmark sets world record for wind energy production

Country wants half of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2020

Jess Staufenberg
Monday 18 January 2016 13:47 GMT
A wind turbine in Copenhagen, Denmark. The country is aiming for 50 percent renewable energy sources within the next five years
A wind turbine in Copenhagen, Denmark. The country is aiming for 50 percent renewable energy sources within the next five years

Denmark has set a world record for wind energy - with an achievement hailed as "the key to stop global warming".

Wind-generated energy made up almost 40 per cent of the country's overall electricity consumption in 2014 - making it the world's leading nation in wind-based power.

About 39.1 per cent of electricity used in the country came from its wind turbines, according to the climate and energy ministry.

In January last year, this figure peaked with just over 60 per cent of Danes' energy consumption in that month coming from the wind.

"These are incredible figures," said Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Denmark's climate and energy minister.

"We still plan to put up more wind turbines. We are moving forward and we have more targets."

The announcement means the multi-party Danish government is currently on track to meet its 2020 target for 50 per cent of all energy consumption from renewable sources.

It also places the Scandinavian country on a strong path towards the Paris climate conference targets, which require greenhouse gas to be cut 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990, and energy efficiency and renewables to be increased by at least 27 per cent.

Mr Petersen said his country had "found the key to stop global warming" for the other 196 nations who attended the conference in December.

One island off Denmark, called Samso, has already become an inspiration to renewable energy experts around the world as it aims to be completely fossil-fuel free by 2020.

And the country and its island are joined by Costa Rica, which reportedly ran on only renewable energy for 75 days in 2015, following the heavy rains which power the country's hydroelectric power plants.

But Danish energy company warned that transport and homes need to be more rapidly electrified so firms do not have to pay a lot of money to dispose of wind power - a problem which would push up costs for consumers.

"If we keep putting up wind turbines, we will keep having low prices in the market, which means consumers would have to pay a high price related to their energy consumption," said Lars Aagaard, director for Danish Energy.

"We would have an energy market with large price volatility where some times the price would deflate and at other times, the price would be sky-high. it would be an unstable system."

The UK government has been criticised for cutting subsidies to the renewable energy sector, with the House of Lords recently rejecting an attempt to prevent any more onshore wind farms being built.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in