In 2015, Danish wind power again broke the world record generating 42.1 per cent of the Danish electricity consumption. In the western part of Denmark where most of the wind turbines are situated, wind power actually generated more electricity than the region’s consumption for 1,460 hours out of the year’s total 8,760 hours, and wind’s total share of electricity generation in western Denmark reached 55 per cent according to the Danish transmission grid operator “Energinet.dk”.
“Hours with wind power generation exceeding consumption is not in itself unusual, but the fact that we are now generating surplus power 16 per cent of the time in the Western Danish power grid illustrates that the increasingly fluctuating electricity generation means that we can benefit from imports and exports across borders to an even greater extent. If, for some hours, we have surplus wind energy, the producers sell it to consumers in Norway, Sweden and Germany, and, conversely, we buy hydroelectric power from Norway, solar energy from Germany and power station electricity from Sweden, when it is advantageous for Denmark,” says Carsten Vittrup, Energy Strategy Adviser in Energinet.dk's Energy Analysis section.
Good wind months
A contributing factor to the 2015 record is that the year was a very windy one, but Energinet.dk explains that two offshore wind farms have been out of operation for one and two months, respectively, due to cable faults. Without these outages, wind would have contributed some 43.5 per cent.
To Jan Jørgensen, Head of Vattenfall’s Surveillance Centre in Esbjerg, from where all Vattenfall’s 1,000 turbines are monitored and controlled, the Danish record did not come as a surprise:
“In October, I didn’t expect the Danish wind sector to break any records, but November and December were extremely good wind months. And actually, if we look at Vattenfall overall, the two months were the second best and the best months ever in terms of wind production with 22 December seeing the absolute record for one day”.
With the extensive Danish plans for wind power expansion onshore, offshore and nearshore, where Vattenfall is a large, active player, Jan Jørgensen is confident that – weather permitting – the Danish Parliament’s target of 50 per cent wind generated electricity in Danish wall sockets in 2020 is within reach.