Coming on the heels of the announcement that Scotland had produced enough wind energy last year to power almost 98 percent of its homes, another European country’s year-end numbers show a record year for wind power.
In 2014, 39 percent of all electricity used in Denmark was generated by wind power, The Local Denmark reported, which means the country is “well on it’s way” to achieving its 2020 energy goals.
“We have set a one-of-a-kind record,” said Denmark’s Climate Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen. “And it shows that we can reach our ultimate goal, namely to stop global warming.”
Petersen also said that this record pushes Denmark even closer to eliminating coal use, a process he said earlier last year that he would like see happen by 2025. Denmark also hopes to have at least 50 percent of its electricity generated by wind within about six years.
Energinet.dk, the government-owned energy corporation, reported that the record-level electricity production can be credited in part to an increase in the number of wind turbines — Denmark added more than 100 new offshore windmills last year.
“But while wind power accounted for nearly 40 percent of Denmark’s electricity in 2014,” reported The Local, “wind only covers about five percent of the nation’s total energy use.” And the Danish Energy Association said fossil fuels still makeup about 75 percent of the country’s total energy use.
To fully become a green country, Aalborg University professor of energy Planning, Brian Vad Mathiesen, said the Danish heating and power plants all need to invest in heat pumps that run on wind-generated electricity.
“It’s moving too slowly with getting the heat pumps into our heating systems and thus integrated into the energy and heat sector,” said Vad Mathiesen. “That becomes more and more pressing as the amount of wind energy increases.”
Climate Minister Petersen responded that the Danish government has allocated 60 million kroner (about $9.5 million) for a heat pump trial program to encourage to switch to the green technology despite it being more costly.
Although Denmark still has a way to go to reach the level of wind energy used that Scotland had last year, its actively looking forward to a time when the country uses little to no fossil fuels — a goal that America should be trying to reach itself.