Denmark’s Wind Power Experience: Costs and Consequences

10 thoughts on “Denmark’s Wind Power Experience: Costs and Consequences

  1. Rob Gramlich is paid to lead the public down a primrose path. He works for politically conflicted Denise Bode who has held Republican office but no longer holds conservative values. RG’s statement that Denmark gets 20% of its energy from wind – despite exporting half of it – does not hold water. Validating the 20% figure as a national model the US could emulate, requires the country consume all of what it produces. Including the export of wind energy means the AWEA (or whoever is making the claim) must extend the example to include wind’s role in the receiving countries.

    Gramlich’s further insinuation that fossil fuel industries like coal and natural gas have an incentive to disparage wind energy should raise a huge red flag for the science minded American. Wind energy does not threaten the coal industry – it is the degree of subsidization for expensive and unreliable energy which threatens all low cost – high value energy sources. Because the wind is intermittent, it bolsters the role natural gas plays in the electricity sector because natural gas can change its generation output to mirror wind patterns, while coal facilities cannot.

    Sharman is a disinterested scientist. Gramlich is either dense or is exceedingly dishonest and greedy.

  2. Apparently Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals are planning to shut down the coal plants by 2014….I guess that Dalton, Duguid and Smitherman weren’t paying attention to what was going on in Germany…Germany developed a coal-fired plant that will emit no greenhouse gases…I guess that Germany doesn’t have a band of Lobbyists that were prepared to buy off the Ontario Liberals…Read about Germany’s first non-polluting Coal Power Plant,,2035398,00.html

  3. Exporting power at a loss not a problem for the states? Not a problem to the neighbour getting the power at cheaper rate. What seems to be missed is that wind is too erratic to be sold by itself. Another stabilizing power source has to be generated just to stabilize the wind so it can be sold. What carbon savings? That has been a joke for quite a while. How long will it take for them to realize that we know there are no carbon savings? Industrial wind power is a money grab for the wind industry and for all the associated companies (many one and the same) paid to produce power just to stabilize the input of wind power? IWTs cannot function without the backup. The backup would not be needed if there were no IWTs.

  4. To bad, the clip is in Danish.

    Is there anyone from the Ontario Liberal’s that can speak Danish, tell Dalton that wind energy is not the answer no matter what language, it is being conveyed in.

    Randy, Dalton and his “Bandits” knows exactly what’s going on in Germany, Demark, and Spain they just do not care because there’s to much money to be made.

    One has to wonder how much $$$$ those members of the Liberal party will be pocketing after they get the boot next year?

  5. 80 cents per kw for wind power versus 5-10 cents kw now. smart man this dalton guy. it will feel real good to go green, but the green stuff is all gone from my wallet. give this guy the boot before he raises the price of toilet tissue to 5 dollars a roll.

  6. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for the windy greenies there exists an international organization, The International Energy Agency that actually monitors all this crap, Go here for everything you never wanted to know about who is doing what with energy by country in a vain attempt to reduce CO2 all over the world.

    Some interesting points: Spain, the 4th largest producer of green energy on the planet has seen her CO2 emissions RISE 54% since 1990. Denmark has seen a 4% decline over the same period but her yearly fluctuations are huge. In 2006 her CO2 output was 13.5% higher then in 2008. For all intents and purposes Denmark has not see significant reductions in CO2 even with 20% grid capacity in wind AND 23% grid capacity in nat gas up from 0% over the last 20 years.

    Germany shows the greatest CO2 reductions at 15% again however, she has over the period, installed massive new natural gas generation and mothballed and replaced several obsolete coal plants with new combined cycle coal plants and this continues. Here green energy generation has had no positive effects according the German governments own press releases.

    So if the real data (published globally) shows industrial green energy to be every bit as bad for the environment as the regular variety…

    Who exactly is it our so-called “democratic” governments are representing when they fund this crap?

    Any guesses?

    BTW, Brazil is an interesting study in how massive Biofuel use (mostly Ethanol) does nothing to mitigate
    total GHG emissions. Brazil is the fourth largest GHG emitter on the planet!


  7. So why does wind not work very well?

    From: Chapter 4, Page 32 of

    “How much wind power could we plausibly generate?

    We can make an estimate of the potential of on-shore (land-based) wind
    in the United Kingdom by multiplying the average power per unit land-
    area of a wind farm by the area per person in the UK:

    power per person = wind power per unit area × area per person.

    Chapter B (p263) explains how to estimate the power per unit area of a
    wind farm in the UK. If the typical windspeed is 6 m/s (13 miles per hour,
    or 22 km/h), the power per unit area of wind farm is about 2 W/m2.”


    My Opinion

    It is well worth getting the PDF copy and spending some time browsing the book.

    The first chapter on calculating effects of CO2 is not well done as he does not tie it back to empirical evidence — which negates the conclusions of temperature rise due to CO. The CO2 lifetime in the atmosphere appears to be wrong etc.

    However, these niggles aside his methodology on calculating the costs of energy and the costs of replacing energy appears to be on the right track.

    I would suggest buying a copy (well several) of the book and sending it to the Ontario Liberal government — but what’s the point? They are clearly math challenged — and perhaps even hostile to the idea of calculating the value of an energy investment. But maybe somebody here will isolate the talking points and conclusions which can then be forwarded to the Ontario Liberal Government — perhaps with illustrative cartoons.

    A notable quote…

    “Aren’t photovoltaic panels going to get more and more efficient as technology

    I am sure that photovoltaic panels will become ever cheaper; I’m also
    sure that solar panels will become ever less energy-intensive to manufacture,
    so their energy yield ratio will improve. But this chapter’s photovoltaic
    estimates weren’t constrained by the economic cost of the panels,
    nor by the energy cost of their manufacture. This chapter was concerned
    with the maximum conceivable power delivered. Photovoltaic panels with
    20% efficiency are already close to the theoretical limit (see this chapter’s
    endnotes). I’ll be surprised if this chapter’s estimate for roof-based photovoltaics
    ever needs a significant upward revision.”

  8. Pingback: Links « Ontario's Wind Performance

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  10. What Rob hides, and Hugh fails to exploit, is that Denmark MUST export half of its wind generation, but they wouldn’t have to IF. . .

    And it is a big “IF.” Think about it. Under what circumstances could Denmark use all of its own wind energy generation?

    There are two ways. First, it could schedule its energy use around the weather. That’s not going to happen, is it? Or if energy storage is a practical possibility at scale, “bring it on!”

    Second, they could install something else that would be SYMBIOTIC with their wind generation – ramping up and down fast enough and with enough amplitude range inversely to wind output, to create a stable “partnership” of supply that would never outstrip demand. This would entail decommissioning their base load sources of energy entirely, and using “wind plus other” instead.

    What might that be? I am thinking natural gas imported in liquid form from Russia. Expensive? Yes. Inefficient? Yes. Green and sustainable? Absolutely NOT.

    The bottom line here is that for a country to get more than about ten percent of its energy from wind, it must burn a hydrocarbon as a companion – likely at a two to one ratio (one part wind and two parts natural gas) or greater.

    So Gramlich’s arguments crumble when approached this way, but Sharman only scratched the surface on this, calling the 20% wind scenario “impractical” for North America.

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