Denmark: Wind power capacity on the rise

Although Denmark is often regarded as one of the world’s leading exporters of wind power technology, the utilization of its expertise has slowed down in recent years.

According to the DEA figures, onshore wind turbine capacity increased by 97 MW in 2009, which is the highest annual expansion since 2002. The Danish offshore capacity rose by 237 MW in 2009.

The figures show that wind power provides around 20 percent of the total Danish electricity consumption – however, there is still a long way to go, in order to reach the goal of the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA). DWIA has a stated goal to reach 50 percent of consumption by 2020, which requires an annual onshore growth of approx. 160 MW.

The DEA figures were welcomed by Jan Hylleberg, CEO of the Danish Wind Energy Association, who said in a statement that government programs offering incentives for wind turbine construction were now beginning to pay dividends. At the same time, he said, local municipalities were better able to define their role in turbine development after taking over responsibilities from regional governments.

"There is reason to praise development in 2009” Hylleberg said. “It was a good year compared to recent years. But we can also see that there is a way to go to the average of 160 megawatts we need to ensure the long-term development of the wind turbine market”.

Offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 577 MW were installed in Europe in 2009 and Denmark accounted for 230 MW of the expansion, the Danish Wind Industry Association said.

Denmark-based wind-turbine maker Siemens Wind Power A/S and Vestas Wind Systems A/S accounted for a total 89.5% of the newly installed capacity in Europe.

At the end of 2009, Denmark had installed a total 305 offshore wind turbines, capturing the first place in Europe, followed by the UK with 287 turbines.