Denmark Hits 116 Per Cent of Energy Needs With Wind Power . . . Australia Orders Halt To Wind Power Investments

220px-GreenMountainWindFarm_Fluvanna_2004European countries continue to put the rest of the world (including the United States) to shame in amazing reductions of their use of carbon footprints and the use of clean energy. Last week saw a particularly impressive achievement for Denmark which managed to produce 140 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. In the meantime, the vehemently anti-environmental Administration of Tony Abbott in Australia cracked down on wind power to prevent further investments by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Flag_of_Denmark.svgThe excess energy is shared between Germany and Norway and Sweden. These countries and the European Wind Energy Association has made investment into clear energy and are now enjoying the dividends of cleaner environments, technology sales globally, and a reduction of the carbon emissions that are threatening the very future of this planet.

While wind levels have been higher than usual, Denmark is on track to reach its goal of producing 84 per cent of it’s electricity needs through wind power by 2035.

800px-Flag_of_Australia_(converted).svgThat is in stark contrast to the situation over in Australia where Abbott continues his determined effort to rollback on environmental protections — an administration that has caused international protests over the damage to pristine areas. We have been discussing the horrific environmental record of Abbott. This includes the decision to dump millions of tons of waste into the Great Barrier Reef. The move that led to international outcry including official condemnation from UNESCO. Much of the criticism has been directed at Abbott putting industry officials in charge of environmental decision-making with predictable results.

Now the Abbott Administration, which has close ties to the mining industry, is moving against wind power. Despite another threat to international investment, Abbott’s government has ordered the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation not to make any new investments in wind power projects. Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann​ have told the Corporation to change its investment mandate to bar new wind funding. The move is viewed as a major blow to the wind industry in the country.

Joe_hockeyAppropriately, Hockey used an appearance on the show of a Sydney radio shock jock to publicly denounce wind farms as “utterly offensive.” Abbott signaled the change with his own objection to the windmill as “visually awful”. Of course, the predictions of global disaster do not appear to be quite as visually offensive for Abbott.

98 thoughts on “Denmark Hits 116 Per Cent of Energy Needs With Wind Power . . . Australia Orders Halt To Wind Power Investments”

  1. Considering the fact that Denmark is a tiny country, has a small population, and is located in an area known for winds coming off the Baltic Sea, they are able to use wind power very efficiently.

    California began wind power in what is called “Windy Point” near the Palm Springs area back in the late 80’s. Those in the desert get a large percentage of their electricity from this source and sell the rest to other electric companies.

    I would like to see more windmill farms built in areas that have sufficient wind…like Chicago.

  2. Interesting thred and topic. Different opinions are proferred without much acrimony. IMO the “thread winner” is Darren’s remark: This is the type of interlocking system that we need to start working towards.

    Conbined efforts will usually provide the best outcomes. I am not a fan of government subsidies in the guise of “investment” because they seldom produce increased productivity or innovation, but for a short time they may be helpful. The day comes I can buy a full electric car or truck (I need a truck) I will be first in lne to buy one, sans subsidy or tax credits, because I know electronic power is more efficient than most other engines from my work with hydropower facilites that have worked very well for 50+ years in my experience. The big breakthrough needed is power storage devices for vehicles so that a 400 mile plus range is possible on one charge…give me that and I’m on board wholly. Solar panels are still too expensive for urban homes and windmills are ugly and of dubious reliability 24/7. In short, I think none of us want to waste energy. Or to cause pollution, whether or not it is anthroipomorphic CO2 emissions…my considerable time in wilderness areas tells me earth can manage itself well if not tampered with by man too much. Trying to guilt trip me with the idea I am causing the earth’s changes isn’t a very strong argument…while man destroyes rain forests to mine gold and other things, I fail to see how reducing CO2 absorbtion is a smart move. For my house solar roofing would at best provide power 5 hours per day,or less, in sunshine weather…since I face east west with periods of no sun on my roofs. At present I am most interested in the efficiency of e-cars if, and when, the batteries can handle 350-400 miles…plus multiple recharging stations. Not quite here yet. Tesla does not interest me in the least. He’d be bankrupt with out the government subsidies. As I said, I need a truck or at the least a mini-van (for my big dogs). I am betting on GMC first. At my age and size I don’t fit in to a “Volt” very well, or even a Prius hybrid…but the concept is there. In 5 years or less I think we’ll be there.

  3. “Alternative Energy” is not science, it is ideology and religion conjured by extremists and anarchists indulged by the liberal collectivist democrats as one of its disparate counterculture voting blocks.

    The planet lives on CO2. Internal combustion engine transportation has been efficient for billions of people for over 100 years.

    The dream of 254 million electric vehicles is a fantasy. If they existed today, that fantasy would be a nightmare. Endeavor to visualize the credit card meter charging spaces at necessarily equidistant increments along freeways all across America with thousands of drivers sitting for hours, waiting for car batteries to charge.

    Distributed generation for the wealthy replacing the grid that serves all people (General Welfare) will result in distributed installation, maintenance, repair, replacement, higher costs overall and third-world service by a dilapidated grid.

    Electric cars and DG (distributed generation) will never be pursued by rational people and will never be viable without political force, incentives, rebates and subsidies.

    The inane for-show-only novelty, Solar Impulse II, took almost 118 hours to fly from Japan to Hawaii and suffered “irreversible damage” to batteries that will take weeks to repair. Sardine can airline seats for 118 hours just to go 4,000 miles sounds like a horror show.

    “Following the record-breaking oceanic flight of 5 days and 5 nights (117 hours and 52 minutes) in a solar powered airplane, Solar Impulse will undergo maintenance repairs on the batteries due to damages brought about by overheating,”

    True, stand alone non-subsidized electric cars, DG and “alternative energy” will come true when people other than Americans start winning Jeopardy.

  4. As usual with green stories, the truth is something much less than advertised in the headline and much more than mentioned in the story. Thanks to the commenters who filled in the blanks. Question to earnest greenies (ie., not the people who use it as a political issue and/or general opportunity to be snide): Are lies, half-truths, and hype really the most responsible, and effective, method of selling the public on green energy? Have you considered the strong possibility of unintended and/or unanticipated* consequences?

    * that people might object to being lied to about the costs and viability of green energy.

  5. If you want to talk “clean,” you need to include base load sources, not just just the solar and wind options–which includes hydro and nuclear. In the US nuclear provides 65-70% of our carbon-free electricity. Wind and solar produce maybe 5%. And if you want to replace all of that capacity with solar/wind, you’d better get used to solar panels and wind farms blanketing the landscape.

  6. Without radical extremists in charge of the government, there would be no “alternative energy” because it is not efficient. Industry scientists do not propose “alternative energy” as efficient. Ideologues do.

    Private sector electricity utilities would not use “alternative energy” if they were not forced to by fringe elements.

    Every scientific expert and proponent of alternative energy has recanted like the co-founder of Greenpeace:

    Sensible Environmentalism

    Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, addressed climate change, environmentalism, and why he left Greenpeace after 15 years to establish a more sensible, science-based approach to environmentalism. He detailed how

    he grew dissatisfied with Greenpeace after it transformed from an organization aimed at stopping the threat of nuclear war to a movement that saw humans as “the enemies of nature.”

    Moore was critical of the widespread contention that CO2 emissions are harmful to the planet and argued that they are actually beneficial because the gas provides abundant food for all of the plants on Earth.

    He ultimately blamed the vilification of CO2 on “a powerful convergence of interests among key elites” who stand to benefit from programs aimed at ostensibly ending climate change.

  7. issac – “The cost of diesel, maintaining generators, and pollution is removed.”

    You really do not know what you are talking about. What do you think a wind turbine is? You really believe there is no maintenance to a wind turbine?

    But, your true colors finally come shining through in your last post. It’s really all about more govt. control. I should have known. You really aren’t worth arguing with.

  8. Darren

    You are a welcome addition to this topic.

    Wind and solar energy can be stored. In Spain an island that was expensive to supply with electricity using diesel generators now has a hydroelectric/solar/wind system. a bowl shaped area high up in the mountains has been transformed into a lake with a hydroelectric power plant. The volume necessary to run the hydro turbines is maintained by pumping water from the ocean using solar and wind power. During the time that wind and solar is not functioning the hydro kicks in having been provided with a high level of the lake from the power generated by the solar and wind at optimum times. All systems, once they are installed use no fossil fuels and produce free electricity that pays for the system over years. The cost of diesel, maintaining generators, and pollution is removed.

    Wind and solar energy can be used to produce hydrogen which can be used to run cars, constant electrical output or base load systems, anything at all, with little or no pollution.

    This is one facet that applies to remote areas that now can get rid of expensive and polluting electricity generating systems. These systems, using wind turbines, have been installed in northern Canada. The point being that reducing or even eliminating the need for fossil fuels can be achieved by tailoring the systems to the conditions.

    Regarding the grid. The grid in the US is a pastiche of systems that have evolved since electricity started to be used. The first phase was each city had a power plant and a grid. Then the issue of efficiency combined areas of smaller grids into areas of larger grids. Then with hydro electricity and nuclear all these grids became connected. The result is a national grid that loses over 15% of the electricity it carries due to the convoluted performance of an antiquated and somewhat dysfunctional design.

    Add to this the fact that the grid is owned and operated by the private sector, the same guys that stonewall the advent of renewables, and one issue becomes clearer.

    It has been agreed by experts that the US should rebuild its grid. Investors with private money are waiting to build thermo solar and photovoltaic solar installations but will not do so unless they are guaranteed to be connected to the grid.

    There are many, many more arguments for nationalizing the grid and coordinating the various sources of electricity. The arguments such as base load etc are cherry picking one issue and applying it to the entire subject. This is the ignorance upon which the oligarchs and status quo depend. Electricity is like health care, it is not something one can choose to buy or not. These are the segments of society that society should administer. That doesn’t exclude the private sector from making buckets of loot, but it doesn’t mean the private sector should dictate how the system applies to Americans. I suppose it all depends on how you define freedom; the freedom of Americans to have the best for less or the freedom of a few to profit as parasites through the needs of all.

    When a major corporation decides to either lease or build a building they compare and contrast the costs to make their choice. The time frame used is 20 years. That is to say that the cost of building a structure would be offset by the cost of leasing a structure in 20 years. The structure typically lasts a lot longer than 20 years so building a brand new state of the art structure is the way to go. Typically the determining factors are financing, growth projections, and/or flexibility Today in America the issue of power and grid is approached with bandaids which necessitates waste, over payment, and pollution. A new grid would pay for itself as it would be offset with at least 5% of the nation’s energy costs per year, realistically if 15% is being wasted, 5% could easily be recouped. Using a 20 year period that would be substantially less. The new base load applicable renewable sources such as photovoltaic and thermal solar as well as wind could be integrated into the system using hydrogen storage. Hydrogen could be produced without using conventional sources and with the flexibility of day and night, wind and calm.

    The ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’ group will hopefully come around. Why they are every where else.

  9. I think we need to realize that energy independence and cleanliness is not achieved through one measure alone–in this case Wind Power. It is part of a multifaceted approach where wind power is one element. But the construction of this is not a panacea yet it is not something that we should just stop all alternative energy generation because of some of the shortcomings. It involves balance between several generation facilities.

    Here is a very simplified example:

    1) Hydro-power can generate non-polluting electricity. Advantages in that it can store potential energy by allowing reservoirs to fill with water when demand is not high.

    2) Wind power can generate power when wind conditions permit and when wind is low hydro-power can be tapped from reservoirs.

    3) Solar power works during the day and when atmospheric conditions are ideal. It does not work at night, but at night if the wind is blowing, wind power makes electricity, saving hydro-power to allow for filling of reservoirs.

    4) Grid system. An interlinked grid system might have comparative advantage in Wind Power at the moment and low demand. A sister utility might have low generation for the day and can purchase power from the former, saving water energy potential.

    5) Some hydroelectric dams have the ability to pump water up to a high level reservoir (above the dams) when water level in the river are high and demand for electricity is low. The water at a higher level can then backflow through the system, driving turbines when river water is low and electricity demand is high. I believe that Grand Coulee Dam has this ability.

    This is the type of interlocking system that we need to start working towards. One generation system is not going to solve everything.

  10. Keep in mind powering a country like Denmark is a vastly easier undertaking than powering a country which spans a continent.

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