THE WIND RISES
Denmark recently set a new record in wind power generation, harvesting 43.4 percent of its electricity from the resource in 2017 — beating its previous best from 2016. The country’s government is hoping to use the momentum to encourage other countries to get on board.
“The price of wind energy is moving in one direction only, and that’s a steep downward trajectory,” commented Denmark’s energy minister Lars Chr. Lilleholt, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Denmark has been leading the push toward wind power for some time. In March 2017, the country successfully sourced all its electricity from wind power for 24 hours. The achievement showed that the country’s goal of ending its reliance on coal by 2030 is attainable.
While Denmark’s decision to pursue renewable resources is part of a larger global effort to phase out fossil fuels, the country does have something of a vested interest. The world’s biggest turbine maker, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, is Danish. Furthermore, its government holds a controlling stake in Orsted A/S, which remains the biggest operator of offshore wind farms internationally.
Denmark still subsidizes wind power projects, as it has done since the 1970s. However, Lilleholt is confident that this will not be necessary for much longer.
Wind power is proving to be a compelling option for nations who wish to implement renewable forms of energy on a large scale. It was recently announced that Britain managed to generate twice as much energy from wind as from coal in 2017, and Germany is now home to the world’s largest individual turbine.
Certain areas of the United States are making strides forward, like the record-breaking results reported in California and the enormous Amazon-backed wind farm set to be constructed in Texas. The future of those plans remains to be seen, however, as calls to discontinue tax credits promoting its usage would seem to be a step in the opposite direction.