Denmark - High hopes as country exceeds European target

DENMARK: Denmark's wind market is expecting stability in 2013 after last year's political agreement to source 50% of its electricity from wind.

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Jan Hylleberg, chief executive of the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA), is even boasting that the market should be seen as a role model for wind development in Europe and abroad. He predicts 250MW will be installed every year to 2020.

In 2011, 28% of the country's electricity was covered by wind and this increased to 30% in 2012. However, only about 150MW of additional capacity was installed last year to reach a total of 4.1GW. This is a hangover of what Hylleberg called the "year of waiting" caused by the political limbo following the general election in 2011.

But it was enough for the country to exceed its commitment under the European targets to provide 31% of electricity from renewables. It has now installed 102% of capacity needed to meet this target and has therefore introduced the new 50% target.

Offshore, some 911MW is installed and this is increasing rapidly as the 400MW Anholt wind farm is being connected. DWIA predicts offshore capacity of 1GW early this year. Denmark is bucking the trend for far-offshore sites and introducing 500MW near-shore wind farms, which will be 2-15 kilometres from the shore or 4km in areas featuring a fragile natural environment.

Denmark's energy ministry announced in September that it had identified eight sites all of which have the potential to host near-shore projects. They are: Bornholm in the Baltic Sea Smalandsfarvandet, Sejero Bugt, Saeby, and Jammerland Bugt in the Kattegat Bay area and Vesterhav Syd, Vesterhav Nord and Jammerbugt Syd in the North Sea.

It is now finalising many of the decisions regarding the specifics of near-shore parks before launching the tendering process this spring.

It is planning for two new offshore parks, which will have a joint capacity of 1GW. The tendering process for two offshore farms should be launched this autumn. In late 2014 or early 2015 the final part of the planning and bidding process will take place and a decision will be made as to which companies build them. All the projects will then be built between 2017 and 2020.

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