Saturday, July 21, 2012

From Gaslands to Wind in Germany and Denmark

Again, having watched the documentary Gaslands by Josh Fox and Koch Bros. Exposed by ?, I have been reminded of the need to keep renewable energy options and opportunities alive and vigorous.
Today, some selections from sites about windpower in Denmark and Germany.   "Green greed is good," to coopt the Oliver Stone character based on the 1980s Ivan Boesky.

The Wind Guilds
Because of the large size, location in visible wind-swept sites, noise, effect on wildlife, and other impacts of wind turbines, landowners, planners, environmentalists, and others sometimes resist these technologies. In the United States, such "environmental" opposition frequently proves the final barrier to the development of a project. The Danish solution to this—parts of which appear to have evolved independently of any overarching guidance from the government—was to allow turbine ownership by guilds or co-operatives, and to require member-owners to live within 3 kilometers of the site. The guilds eventually organized as the Danish Wind Turbine Owners Association, which became a powerful political force. Today, 100,000 Danish families own wind turbines or shares in wind co-operatives.
In the mid-1980s, this ownership rule was modified somewhat, to require that guild members live in or within 10 kilometers of the same borough as the turbine and to limit the share of any individual owner to the greater of 6,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year or 135% of that person's electricity consumption. This change was made in part because of pressure from electric utilities, which were seeking to limit private ownership of generating facilities. Under pressure from the various guilds, the law was amended again in 1992 to relax ownership requirements. The geographic area of residency was expanded to include residents of the borough in which the turbine was located and those of neighboring boroughs. The ownership share was increased to the greater of 9,000 kWh per year or 150% of consumption. The rules were expanded further in 1996 to allow ownership of up to 30,000 kWh per year by any person who lived or worked in the borough or who owned a house or real estate there.

12 10 2011 Danish government: “50 percent of power consumption from wind power in 2020”

The new Danish centre-left coalition government has increased targets on wind capacity. Wind power is set to represent 50 percent of the total power consumption in Denmark in 2020.

The new Danish government just recently released its targets on renewable energy and CO2 emissions. The new disposition increases the previous CO2 reduction target from 30 to 40 percent, measured relative to 1990.

“A green and more sustainable world does not evolve by itself,” says Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen on the 11th of October.

As a part of the increased ambitions on CO2 emissions, wind power is targeted to represent 50 percent of the total power consumption in Denmark in 2020. The major role of wind power should be seen as a part of the government’s plan to phase out fossil fuels by 2050.

The ambitious targets place Denmark in pole position on renewables among the developed countries.
04 04 2011 New all time high record in exports

Backed by rising exports, the Danish wind energy sector beat expectations to register healthy growth in 2010, the Danish Wind Industry Association announced in connection with the annual meeting on March 30th.

Sectoral revenues rose by 8.3 percent in 2010, corresponding to 55.3 billion Danish kroner (10.44 billion U.S. dollars), up from 51.1 billion Danish kroner (9.64 billion dollars) in 2009.

Meanwhile, the sector's exports rose 11 percent, earning 46.2 billion Danish kroner (8.72 billion dollars) in 2010, up from 41.7 billion Danish kroner (7.87 billion dollars) the previous year, indicating that overall sectoral growth is strongly-pegged to export strategies.
With single wind turbines now routinely capable of three megawatts of output – enough to power 3,000 homes per turbine – wind power has become too cheap and too practical to ignore.

No country on earth is more determined to realize the potential of wind energy than Germany, although the Danes and the British are giving them a run for the money. With virtually no energy resources in-country other than coal, and a national consensus that pretty much rules out nuclear power, the wealthy German nation is likely to extend its lead in wind power.

German officials claim that by 2050 their country will be powered 50% by renewables – solar, wind, geothermal, and biofuels. Considering Germany is one of the world’s largest consumers of energy, over 15 quadrillion BTUs in 2003, which included over 100 gigawatt-years of electricity, they have a long way to go. Currently Germany produces only 3% of their energy from renewable sources; about (taking into account net yields) 9% of their electricity from wind. Yet Germany’s lead over other major nations in wind energy is impressive and growing. – Ed “Redwood” Ring

The German wind industry in 2003

installed 1700 propellers rated at 2,645 MW. Although this figure is 18.5% down from the 3,247 MW newly connected in 2002, it is a good in light of the mainly negative economic trends of the last months of the year. Peter Ahmels, President of the German Wind Energy Association, stated that no other country can point to such growth in absolute numbers. Last year more than 22% was added to installed capacity making Germany the world’s second most important wind market. As of the end of June 2004, the total wind energy capacity installed in Germany amounted to almost 15,327 MW. This makes Germany the world leader in the use of wind power.

Nationwide the power stations produce 14,645 MW. In a normal wind year they could produce 5.9% of the national power supply – another indicator that the use of wind power is growing.

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