Danes on Wind

Flemming Nissen head of development at West Danish generation company ELSAM (one of Denmark’s largest energy utilities):   “Increased development of wind turbines does not reduce Danish CO2 emissions.”

Neils Gram of the Danish Federation of Industries:  “In green terms windmills are a mistake and economically they make no sense.”

Jytte Kaad Jensen, chief economist for Eltra, Denmark’s biggest electricity distributor:  “In just a few years we’ve gone from some to (sic) the cheapest electricity in Europe to some of the most costly.”

Aase Madsen, an MP who chairs energy policy in the Danish Parliament, is emphatic:  “For our industry it has been a terribly expensive disaster.”

Henning Rasmussen, Danish engineer: “When the wind arrives on (sic) or two hours later than forecast, we get nothing and we have to ask our neighbors to rescue us.”

Is wind power as green as it seems? Denmark is the world’s most wind-intensive state with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity.   But this figure is misleading, says Tony Lodge of the Centre for Policy Studies.   Not one conventional power plant has been closed in the period that Danish wind farms have been developed.

In fact, the Danish grid used 50% more coal-generated electricity in 2006 than in 2005 to cover wind’s failings. The quick ramping up and down of those plants has increased their pollution and carbon dioxide output  carbon emissions rose 36% in 2006.

Meanwhile Danish electricity costs are the highest in Europe.   “The Danish experience suggests wind energy is expensive, inefficient and not even particularly green”, says Lodge.