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Denmark

Denmark

Denmark six years ahead of goal; wind supplies 8% of demand

Electricity from wind power plant provided an estimated 8-9% of Denmark's electricity consumption in 1998 after feeding more than 2000 GWh into the grid, according to a provisional summary undertaken by Vindstyrke, a monthly magazine reporting wind production in Denmark, and the wind industry's trade association. Denmark's population is around five million. The government's aim is for wind power to meet 10% of demand by 2005, a goal that will most likely be reached within the next year, six years ahead of schedule.

There is no centralised registration of wind turbine installations in Denmark and figures are therefore reliant on industry statistics. These have yet to be gathered in detail as neither Vestas nor NEG Micon have made their obligatory reports of such information to the stock exchange. But Søren Krohn, chairman of the industry association, estimates that Denmark is now home to 1450 MW of operating wind power plant, just 50 MW below the government's 1500 MW goal for 2005.

Last year was the best ever for the home market, with the addition of some 300 MW of wind plant, or 450 new turbines. Only 1997, when 286 MW was added, can come close to the 1998 tally. In the five years between 1994 and 1998, a total of 950 MW of wind power was installed in Denmark.

Spending and income

Government subsidies to wind production -- DKK 0.17/kWh (Euro0.023/kWh) -- amounted to about DKK 310 million (Euro41.6 million) in 1998 based on a production of 2000 GWh. The wind industry's export turnover, provisionally, was about DKK 4 billion (Euro538 million) of the around DKK 6.5 billion total. Exports represented over 70% of wind industry business in 1998, giving Danish companies more than 60% slice of the global wind market. They provide 12,000-15,000 jobs in wind turbine production, component supply and ancillary services.

Dominant industry trends in 1998 include the steady expansion of production facilities among the major market suppliers and preparations for meeting the government's goal of 4000 MW of offshore wind plant. Market trends are unchanged, with development of wind power continuing in the form of private sector investment in diffuse and small projects. Local authority structure plans for wind development have earmarked sites for another 1200-1300 MW of wind plant onshore. There is no sign yet of the long awaited market for replacement of old turbines with new. Legislation to catalyse a repowering market is awaited this summer as part of a broad reform of the national electricity market.

Krohn expects 1999 growth rates to exceed those of 1998, predicting a turnover of more than DKK 8 billion and a 25% increase in exports compared with last year.

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