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Denmark

Denmark

Record installation volume yet again -- Danish 10% target passed

Early last year Denmark shot past the wind power target it had set itself for 2005 and by the close of 1999 installed capacity had reached around 1750 MW. This means wind power plant provided more than 10% of the Danish electricity demand for the year. It is expected the country will pass 2000 MW of total wind capacity this year, says Kai Worsaae of the Danish energy agency.

In 1999, 426 new turbines were installed with a combined capacity of 324 MW, an all time annual record. The previous year, 313 MW was installed made up of 463 turbines. In 1997, the tally was 536 turbines and 300 MW and in 1996, 401 units and 206 MW. The average size of new turbines last year grew to over 700 kW and the average size of all turbines in Denmark is now 312 kW.

Based on the number of turbines already sold, Christian Kjær of the Danish wind industry's trade association estimates that 2000 will also be a busy year, with another 250 MW going up. Worsaae agrees. In total, 5600 turbines were reported operating in Denmark at the end of the year, although up to 250 of these have been decommissioned. There is no central registration of decommissioned turbines, so the definitive total is unknown.

The trend in turbine ownership continues the pattern set in 1996: there are fewer and fewer co-operatively owned turbines in Denmark, with just 50 units developed as community owned projects in 1999. A total of 307 turbines were installed by individual households and businesses -- investment in wind plant by businesses is an emerging new trend. The remaining 66 turbines were developed by utilities.

A growing share of home market wind business is going to professional developers which sell turnkey wind turbine projects to individual investors or co-operatives. Some of these companies are not only the largest home market customers for wind turbines, a few of them are even larger than some of the wind turbine manufacturers. Jysk Vindkraft has an annual turnover of DKK 300-400 million.

For the Danish wind industry, 1999 was another year of explosive growth. Kjær estimates the industry sold for DKK 11 billion (EUR 1.5 million), compared with DKK 6.5 billion in 1998. Around 85% of sales in 1999 were for exports, compared with 60% the previous year.

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