Money out of air

In 1990 the wind power stations of Denmark generated 2 % of the total electric power whereas now this number is 20 %. According to this indicator, Denmark takes the eighth place in the world. The surplus electricity is sold to the neighbouring countries, while the Danish producers of wind turbines have learnt so much that they are manufacturing nearly one third of all the wind power capacity worldwide.

From the export of energy-efficient technologies — wind turbines, solar batteries, insulation materials and similar products Denmark receives nearly twice more than from agricultural products. In the nearest 10 years Denmark plans to get up to 50, and by 2025 up to 75% power from wind. Scientists believe that it is manageable to generate even all 100% of the power needs by wind energy, provided placing windmills, e.g. on the area of 1 thousand sq.km. somewhere in the North Sea.

wind power stations

Many say that Denmark is situated on islands and, therefore, it is always windy there. Yes, it is true but the wind speed in Denmark is not as high as in California or in the north of Brazil, where the wind can nearly carry a person away. At the height of 10 m Danish wind speed is around 4.5 – 5.6 m/s, which is generally speaking not so much.

oil crisis

Danish researchers like recollecting that the turning point was in 1973, when the global oil crisis broke out. In the country, dependent on the import of energy resources, the oil deficit reached such a degree that the Danes forbade to use automobiles at weekends. It was the time when people started saying that small Denmark should not depend so seriously on other countries. There was a suggestion to build a nuclear power station, but the local population protested. And after Chernobyl catastrophe the government of Denmark refused from the plans to construct nuclear power stations at all. Instead, it was decided to develop wind and solar energy.

Introduction of wind power stations turned out to be not as similar as it could first seem. The first facility of the kind was a pilot project on the tiny island of Ærø in the south of Denmark in 1985, when under the support of 128 local shareholders the erection of the 11-turbine wind farm began. The government supported the initiative by lowering the taxes to those families that had shares in the wind farms.

The phenomenon of the "black sun"

Despite protests and demonstrations of the local population, who considered that the wind farms would spoil the landscapes, and would also threaten the wonderful phenomenon of island "black sun" (it is here that in autumn thousands of small migrating birds somehow gather into huge balls), the project was to go. Alongside with the construction of windmills there was reorganization and extension of the central heating system on the island — it was more economical and beneficial. The turbine payback period is on average 6–7 years. The number of wind turbines is regulated by the environmental department of Denmark, not to harm the environment.

solar bataries

Another visible example of using natural resources is the solar power used on the island. In the outskirts of the town of Marstal there is one of the largest solar power stations worldwide. And this is in rather cool Denmark! The project started in 1994. So far the area of the solar batteries is over 18 thousand sq. m. This is enough to fully meet the power needs of the town from May to October. The station supplies hot water to 1450 houses, which enables to save 820 thousand litres of oil annually and not to emit 2.6 t carbon dioxide.

This is the example of saving and reasonable environmental management in the contemporary Denmark. No surprise that the country is prosperous!

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