Denmark raises wind energy targets to 50% by 2020 says new PM

» By | Published 14 Oct 2011

Wind power will provide 50% of Denmark’s electricity in 2020, the new Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said – a level which would beat EWEA’s prediction of up to 47.4%.

Denmark’s EU renewable energy target is to source 31% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, and the increasingly wind-powered country is already close to meeting that target. At the end of last year, Denmark had a wind energy capacity of 3,752 MW – enough to source 25% of its electricity from wind energy.

“The ambitious targets place Denmark in pole position on renewables among the developed countries,” the Danish Wind Industry Association said.
Denmark’s renewable ambition does not stop after 2020 – by 2050 the Danish government is aiming for the country to be fossil-fuel free. The government has also increased its CO2 reduction target from 30% to 40% compared to 1990 levels, by 2020.

“A green and more sustainable world does not evolve by itself,” Thorning-Schmidt said at the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen on 11 October. “Setting this clear and long-term target is a crucial precondition for action….Because long-term targets tell our power plants that they can safely focus on green energy. Because long-term targets tell the director of a wind turbine company that it is safe to invest in new markets. And because long-term targets tell families that it is worth their while to buy energy-saving windows or an electric car ”.

Denmark has long been a European leader in wind power. In 2005, wind power met 17.9% of electricity demand; no other EU country was powered by more than 10% wind power at that time. Next year, Copenhagen will host EWEA 2012, the annual event that sees thousands of wind energy experts from around the world meet to discuss the industry and exchange ideas. The event coincides with the Danish Presidency of the EU.

Meanwhile, according to a report just published by Reuters, Romania’s coalition government has just approved a support scheme for renewable energy producers. “The promise of a generous support scheme, good steady winds and a potentially lucrative market of some 22 million people have attracted scores of wind energy developers to Romania in recent years,” the report said.

EWEA expects Romania to have up to 3,500 MW by 2020. Europe’s largest onshore wind farm is currently under construction in the Dobrogea region in south-east Romania – a project valued at €1.1 billion according to Reuters.