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. @Isaac, you’re making a number of assumptions about the economics of various renewables that just aren’t true. For example, you cite the use of solar to offset air conditioning loads in hot-weather areas, but what you seem to ignore or don’t know is that peak production from solar is around noon. Peak electric demand is hours later, in some areas near 7PM. That’s because people get home around that time and begin their household routines (AC, Lighting, Laundry, Cooking, etc.) but offices and commercial spaces are still air conditioned and lighted. Solar is de minimus by that hour.

    Hybrid vehicles have “made a dent” because they’re heavily subsidized, not because they’re cost-effective for most drivers.

    I don’t know where you get the expertise to declare that “hydrogen will be on line” but no credible source makes such a claim. Hydrogen is a net energy loss – it takes more electricity to crack the hydrogen from methane (natural gas) than that hydrogen will produce in electricity. Yes, hydrogen can be stored, but at a huge loss in efficiency.

    Renewables cannot stand on their own (yet), they’re heavily subsidized both directly and indirectly. Absent some technological leap in storage technology, renewables will continue to be an expensive, subsidized fringe product.

  2. The cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour to household consumers in Denmark is 3 to 4 times higher than in the US. One reason for the difference is the total increased cost of wind power versus alternatives. It would be interesting to know if Denmark is selling its excess power to other EU countries at or above the cost of generation, or is it dumping the excess power on the market at discount?

  3. Karen S,

    Utilities don’t gouge any ratepayers. If any gouging occurs, it is at the behest of Public Utilities Commissions.

    DISTRIBUTED GENERATION, of any type, can NEVER capture the “economies of scale” of a state regulated monopoly electricity utility. Wealthy people will buy “distributed energy” and less wealthy people will not be able to afford it. Cheaters will prosper. Utilities will capture operational efficiencies, of necessity. Utility costs and rates structures will moderate, Solar City will lose its government/taxpayer subsidies, 20-year contracts will go bad from utility competition and Musk will crash like his rockets do repeatedly – Musk’s rockets crash going and Musk’s rockets crash coming down (let’s hope the home storage batteries don’t blow up). Water, gas, sewer, roads, post office, electricity, etc. are all GENERAL WELFARE that the government must PROMOTE.

    If alternative methods of generation were cost-effective, state regulated monopoly electricity utilities would have employed them 100 years ago. Alternative generation methods are employed as a sop to the radical extremists who threaten elected officials. Science, left alone, would never deploy alternative energy for mass power production. It is not possible.

    “Anthropogenic Climate Change” is a screenplay written and performed on the stage of governance by environmentalist-whacko, radical extremists engaged in the creation of an enemy to enhance the promotion of their ideology cum religion the fictional work of art formerly known as “Global Warming.”

    Distributed generation and effective, safe storage at 200 million sites across America are a “pipe dream.”

    “…a republic, if you can keep it.”

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

  4. Another issue we need to resolve is utility companies gouging private solar panel homeowners:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/24/utilities-take-on-solar-firms-in-washington-and-beyond-.html

    The reasoning is that the more common private solar panels become, the less revenue. But the grid keeps growing as we keep building. At some point, they say, the revenue won’t support the grid infrastructure. I do not know what that point will be, or if it is even valid at this point. But this problem needs to be resolved, because it’s unfair to do away with net metering and have utilities take energy for free.

  5. Isaac:

    “Solar and wind does reduce the use of coal to produce electricity. With the hundreds of acres of flat roof tops in all the cities across the South solar can viably offset draws on electricity for air conditioning. This is without subsidies. Coal, oil, and natural gas receive billions in subsidies. The US pays the least of all the developed countries for fossil fuels. Pollution kills far more birds and other animals including humans than wind turbines.”

    Yes, if the grid currently uses coal, then anything other than coal would decrease its use. Yes, we have tremendous scope for solar panels in appropriate climates. Where are your stats that pollution kills more birds than wind turbines, because wind turbines kills a LOT of birds. It’s well known among ecologists, and believe me, they’re not going for a Machiavellian trade.

    The answer is to actually fix the problem. Seriously. How hard can it be to come up with a wind turbine that is bird safe? Dyson came up with a fan that does not chop the air and has no rotating guillotine. The least they could do is stop painting the darn things white so it won’t attract insects and bats at night.

    If you sat next to a wind turbine for half an hour you would be holding your ears yelling, “For the love of Pete, please come up with a better model!!!!”

    I love to see the progression of science, and am not content with Beta technology. I’ve said this before (but since no one ever listens to me I’ll repeat it. 🙂 ) If we blow our investment too soon on technology that has major flaws, we will rue the day. And the money will be gone as well as the opportunity. It is vitally important that we get it right the first time. Or we’ll invest a bunch of money in a technology that will be obsolete in 18 months that we won’t be happy with.

    Come up with a bird safe, silent wind turbine that efficiently produces energy at affordable cost without subsidies, and does not hurt the environment or wildlife, and I will be singing “The Sound of Music.” Oh, wait, that was set in Austria not Denmark. Whatever. You get the gist.

  6. Independent Bob

    Denmark has a fraction of the population of the US but also a fraction of the size and very little sunshine all year long. Most of their wind farms are in the North Sea. The reality of the situation is that fossil fuels are three times as expensive in Denmark. Denmark enjoys a much higher standard of living with the public and private sector cooperating. Companies like Vestas now return many times the subsidies originally floated by the government with tens of thousands of high paid jobs/taxes, and billions in profits from importing 40% of the world’s heavy wind turbines. The investment has paid off. Where is the US in this formula? GE is not having locomotives and other heavy turbines built in Brazil. It is good for the corporate bottom line but not so good for the US. The US needs to take a look at what it is doing wrong and what other countries are doing right. What is so wrong with intelligence?

  7. wanderer

    There are viable storage mechanisms. The cars of the future will continue to run on fossil fuels for some time. However, hybrids have made a dent. More efficient engines will continue for some time. Hydrogen will be on line and as with electric charging stations, check out Tesla free charging for life set up-you can go almost anywhere on their system, hydrogen will need a system. Hydrogen takes energy to produce but when it is produced it can be stored. Thermal solar, photovoltaic solar, coupled with wind and conventional fuels can easily be sourced to produce the hydrogen. This is without interrupting the base system.

    The potential is there. There isn’t one naysayer that doesn’t focus on one small and/or momentary imperfection and then apply that to renewables replacing fossil fuels in their entirety, right now. The facts of the matter are that renewables are viable, can be used to offset spikes and increases due to expansion of needs, and can also be used to produce the hydrogen needed to power the next generation of auto.

    Imagine hydrogen stations that source their hydrogen through renewable energy. Or keep your head up your past.

  8. “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

    Denmark has 1/3 the population of only the City of Los Angeles. Denmark has no relevance or proportion to the scale of Americanada. It is a “red-herring” to mention this “Fantasia of Windmills.” Dr. Patrick Moore is the Mayor of Realville and the Mayor says there is no anthropomorphic global warming.

    “THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF.” – FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

    “THE SKY IS FALLING.” – CRIED CHICKEN LITTLE.

    Forget the Environmentalist Whackos and read the Environmental Truth. The movement is fraud and windmills are not cost-effective. Windmills are a sop to the radical enviro-whackos who have taken over the government. CO2 is necessary for plant and animal life, anthropogenic CO2 is virtually immeasurable and CO2 has been produced by the planet for 600 million years. Climate change is as old as the planet. Without massive amounts of planetary CO2, plants would die then animals would die.

    NEWSFLASH – CO-FOUNDER DR. MOORE DEFECTS FROM GREENPEACE – RECANTS HIS BELIEF IN CARBON EMISSIONS AND ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING – EXPOSES THE GREENPEACE FRAUD.

    “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist”

    by Dr. Patrick Moore.Sensible Environmentalism
    ———-
    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.

    ———–

    REVIEW THE 2011 FRAUD REVELATION ABOUT ANTHROPOGENIC “GLOBAL WARMING”

    FORBES
    James Taylor
    Opinion 11/23/2011 @ 11:38AM 410,011 views

    “Climategate 2.0: New E-Mails Rock The Global Warming Debate”

    A new batch of 5,000 emails among scientists central to the assertion that humans are causing a global warming crisis were anonymously released to the public yesterday, igniting a new firestorm of controversy nearly two years to the day after similar emails ignited the Climategate scandal.

    Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.

    Regarding scientific transparency, a defining characteristic of science is the open sharing of scientific data, theories and procedures so that independent parties, and especially skeptics of a particular theory or hypothesis, can replicate and validate asserted experiments or observations. Emails between Climategate scientists, however, show a concerted effort to hide rather than disseminate underlying evidence and procedures.

    “I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process,”writes Phil Jones, a scientist working with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a newly released email.

    “Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones writes in another newly released email. “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”

    The original Climategate emails contained similar evidence of destroying information and data that the public would naturally assume would be available according to freedom of information principles. “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment]?” Jones wrote to Penn State University scientist Michael Mann in an email released in Climategate 1.0. “Keith will do likewise. … We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA [the Climate Audit Web site] claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!”

    The new emails also reveal the scientists’ attempts to politicize the debate and advance predetermined outcomes.

    “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out” of IPCC reports, writes Jonathan Overpeck, coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s most recent climate assessment.

    “I gave up on [Georgia Institute of Technology climate professor] Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing, but its not helping the cause,” wrote Mann in another newly released email.

    ———-

    Climate Depot – Green Guru James Lovelock on Climate Change:

    ‘I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess’

    – Lovelock Reverses Himself on Global Warming. Lovelock, on BBC TV, slams the global warming claims including those of the United Nations climate panel.

    ‘They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses.’

    Lovelock was once one of the leading voices of climate alarm. See: 2006 Climate Shocker: Lovelock Predicted Global Warming Doom: ‘Billions of us will die; few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in Arctic’ Fast Forward to April 2012: ‘Gaia’ scientist James Lovelock reverses himself:

    I was ‘alarmist’ about climate change & so was Gore!

    ‘The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing.

    We thought we knew 20 years ago’

    Lovelock becomes UN IPCC’s biggest critic: Green Guru Lovelock Slams UN IPCC & Greens: ‘Whenever UN puts its finger in it seems to become a mess’ —

    ‘The green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion’

    — James Lovelock: ”IPCC is too politicized & too internalized’ — On Green religion:

    ‘I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use.

    The greens use guilt.

    You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting CO2 in the air’

  9. A few years ago I went to Denmark for a few days. Wind mills were all over the place. Denmark is a low flat country. You’re never too far from the ocean. The Danish people seemed very disciplined and intelligent. Denmark is a small country with a small population. There are more people in New York City than Denmark. Clean, green renewable energy is a great idea. Don’t compare Denmark with the USA. This is not apples to apples. I happen to believe Carbon Credits are a hoax. I just don’t want green energy to cost me an arm and a leg.

  10. @DBQ

    Oh, I am sooo confused! You mean some business would take government money to built a windmill, and then turn off the cheap water power to sell the expensive wind power to customers??? Why would they ever do a thing like that??? One would almost think this is some sort of Goldman Sachs type ploy to screw the consumer! But nobody would fall for a scheme like that, would they??? (Hint: ax-may would!)

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  11. Yes jimm22, the science IS in and human made CO2 has ramped this global warming up… SCIENCE!

  12. jimm22
    Back in the horse and buggy days you didn’t have your Medicare to rely upon, either…
    … Times, they are a changin’.

  13. the only thing stopping solar and wind is the fact that they can’t provide base load electricity

    Jim 22

    We have several large hydro plants in our immediate vicinity. The water runs 24/7 without interruption and is not diminished even in this drought. In addition, within the last 8 years there was installed a very large wind power generation area on the top of a ridge (about 5000 feet elevation).. In the last 3 years several areas of solar panel power were also developed.

    The wind and solar were both heavily subsidized by the government. The windmills are chopping up migratory birds and raptors as well as any other bird that is unfortunate to be flying in the areas where they have flown in the past thousands of years. The solar panels are not only producing interference to those unfortunate enough to have had existing houses nearby, before the panels were put in, they are also destroying birds who think the reflection is water and the crash into the panels and the ground.

    Since you don’t care about the birds, then lets talk economics. The hydro plants have existed for many many years. Some over 75 years and they are fully amortized or paid for, unlike new construction, allowing the generated electricity to be sold to the consumer at a lower rate. While the subsidized wind and solar have been given guaranteed rates that are higher than the fair market value of the hydro.

    The hydro can provide a base load, since the water is constant and the power output can be ratcheted up or down to meet the need. The solar and wind are intermittent and as pointed out. The power from those two sources cannot be banked or stored. So when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing they are zilch.nada. nothing.

    Here is the rub. Because of the contracts and the slavish devotion to wind and solar……when they are on line……the hydro plant is shut down. The water is still flowing, but the stop making the CHEAP electricity and put the wind and solar on line. Up, down, up, down. Instead of making the solar and wind be backup sources to the hydro power, they have done the reverse. Use the expensive power instead of the less expensive. Pass the expenses on to the customer. Not only it it expensive, it is labor intensive and makes no economic sense.

    Wind and solar while nice in concept are not consistent or reliable sources for the base load electricity.

    The other issue is the load that the existing lines can actually handle. Too much power generated at one time can be dangerous and even lethal. This is also one of the reasons the hydro is shut down when the wind and solar come on line. They are all together generating too much electricity. In otherwords, they allowed to be built more generating capacity than the infrastructure in THIS area can handle. Stupid idea. Cart before the horse.

    Base load power sources are power production plants which can consistently generate the power needed to satisfy minimum demand. That demand is called the base load requirement, it is the minimum level of demand on an electrical supply system over 24 hours.

    1. Dust Bunny Queen wrote: “Here is the rub. Because of the contracts and the slavish devotion to wind and solar……when they are on line……the hydro plant is shut down. The water is still flowing, but the stop making the CHEAP electricity and put the wind and solar on line.”

      Crazy! Hydroelectric power is CLEAN. Why should it be competing with wind and solar so much so that regulations or policies make them shutdown the hydroelectric plant?

  14. While historically large power grids have had base load power plant to exclusively meet the base load, there is no specific technical requirement for this to be so. The base load can equally well be met by the appropriate quantity of intermittent power sources and peaking power plant.[3][4]

    Among the renewable energy sources, hydroelectric, geothermal,[5] biogas, biomass, solar thermal with storage and ocean thermal energy conversion can provide base load power.

  15. Max-1 The science is settled why do you even look any of this up? The Earth has warmed, we are the cause and it’s bad. Only the first one might be true. Enjoy your religion.

  16. And before people start claiming that there is no way to store this energy… it’s here.
    And it’s just a start.

  17. isaac, Being that I design gas turbine combustion systems for power gen.gas turbines I think my league knows what it is talking about and I will trust the people I know as well as myself who actually work in the industry (This includes wind). But you would rather believe a govt. telling you about settled science.

    As for where was I when the buggy whips needed help? One, I wasn’t born and two, had I been there I would have been jumping for joy over the superior automobile. Comparing a renewables to something like the car shows you are not too knowledgeable on the subject of power. Maybe a better analogy would be you cheering for the electric powered car and me cheering for the more reliable IC engine car. Also, since we are on the topic of early automobiles, how much money did the govt. give to everyone who bought a car?

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