Denmark invests €27m on test turbines

DENMARK: The Danish energy ministry, and the government supporting People's Party (DPP), have agreed to spend DKK 200 million (€27 million) on the future testing of wind turbines in 2018 and 2019 outside of the national test centres.

The Østerild test site in northern Denmark (pic: DTU)
The Østerild test site in northern Denmark (pic: DTU)

In December, the government proposed expanding the country's existing test centres at Østerild and Høvsøre with an additional four test beds for prototype turbines.

Now, Denmark's coalition government, which is supported in the parliament by the DPP, have agreed a DKK 200 million package to fund new test beds outside of the test centres, as demand for test sites remains high.

The investment has been transferred from proposed wind and solar tenders over the next two years to a special fund supporting the test beds, following a DKK 1 billion (€134 million) deal between the government and the DPP in September.

"After constructive dialogue with industry, the government and the Danish People's Party has now decided to prioritise additional funds for demonstration and testing of wind turbines on land in 2018 and 2019," the energy ministry said.

Prototype turbines installed outside the test centres will be eligible for 20-year support deals, the energy ministry said.

"The government and the Danish People's Party will be very pleased to adjust the agreement to meet the needs and wishes of the industry. The possibility of constructing prototype wind turbines is essential for the Danish wind turbine industry as our need for testing exceeds the capacity available in the Danish test centres," said Jan Hylleberg, CEO of the Danish Wind Industry Association (DWIA).

According to DWIA, up to 35MW in prototype turbines can be installed in Denmark, outside of the Østerild and Høvsøre sites. Prototypes installed in 2018 will receive a maximum of DKK 0.11/kWh (€0.015/kWh) in support. The 2019 prototype turbines will fetch a fixed price determined by the prices from 2018 auctions.

"The introduction of competition between wind and solar will help drive the cost of renewable energy even further down, which is healthy for the green change and society.

"In practice, prototype wind turbines can not participate in the tender rounds, but the change means that Denmark can continue to offer competitive conditions for testing and demonstration outside the national centres, which helps to maintain important development and research activities in the wind industry in Denmark," Hylleberg added.

The change in funding must be approved by the European Commission under state-aid rules.

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