Denmark Wind Power

William Genesen
December 12, 2016

Submitted as coursework for PH240, Stanford University, Fall 2016


Fig. 1: Picture of a Danish wind farm. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) -

The world's population is expanding exponentially and with that we have created massive amounts of pollution and are running through our planet's natural resources. Besides the fact that we are quickly depleting the earth's natural energy resources faster than they are being created, we are also changing the weather patterns on our planet and polluting our waters and lands. But there is another option. In the past 30 years' new types of clean energy have been created. One of the most successful and practical is wind energy. This is a cost effective, renewable energy that we can cleanly collect from wind. One country in specific has been taking the lead on wing energy.

Denmark's Wind Energy

Denmark was one of the first countries to go after commercial wind power in the 1970s. Since then they have become one of the leaders in wind power and in developing the actual wind turbines themselves (see Fig. 1). Denmark has taken initiative in trying to eliminate their production of pollution. They have shown a steady increase in their overall amount of electricity production from wind. [1] In 2013, 33 percent of their electricity came from wind power. That number has since risen every year and now 42 percent of their electricity consumption is from wind power. This is the highest amount for any country. Denmark does not plan on stopping there and is hoping that by 2020 that 50 percent of Denmark's energy comes from wind energy. [2] The long term goal is to eventually use zero fossil fuels by 2050.

How Are They Able to Do This?

Denmark is fully invested and committed to eliminating fossil fuels. Denmark is taking advantage of both on shore and off shore wind farms with advantageous environmental landscape creating good conditions for harvesting wind energy. The average wind speed in Denmark is rather high. Also, due to the fact that much of the ocean surrounding Denmark is rather shallow which will make it possible to build many offshore turbines. However, the most cost effective way is through on shore turbines.


In one of Denmark's most productive regions, the turbines have created far more energy (up to 16%) than the region could store. [1] They don't really have a solution for storing this energy and usually end up selling it to neighboring countries. But the problem is that when it isn't very windy for a couple of days they end up needing to buy other sources of energy back. [3] In 2012, it was determined that the cost of the renewable energy in Denmark had dramatically increased. This has lead Danish citizens having some of the highest electricity bills in the world.


Denmark has played a huge role in helping start the movement towards not relying on and hopefully eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels from our environments. It is a process that will not happen overnight and will face many obstacles but is necessary. Also, wind power is not viable in many countries due to a lack of wind. But it is one source of clean energy that should be taken advantage of wherever possible.

© William Genesen. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] A. Neslen, "Denmark Broke World Record for Wind Power in 2015," The Guardian, 18 Jan 16.

[2] H. Lund and B. V. Mathiesen, "Energy Systems Analysis of 100% Renewable Energy Systems - The Case of Denmark in Years 2030 and 2050," Energy 34, 524 (2009).

[3] "Wind Power," International Renewable Energy Agency, June 2012.