Opinion: Once again, Danes support the continued expansion of wind power
It seems more than appropriate that a recent public opinion poll conducted in Denmark — the country that sparked the modern and highly-successful wind energy revolution — has shown overwhelming support for the continued use of wind power.
The survey, conducted by Megafon polling institute and released last week by the Danish Wind Industry Association, found that 91% of respondents believe Denmark should continue to use and expand wind power in the next decade to help secure the nation’s future.
Equally impressive, the poll, which canvassed 1,052 Danes, found that 96% of those who answered believe the federal government should keep on supporting wind power so that Denmark continues to be a pioneer in wind energy technology.
Not only are those kind of soaring percentages unheard of in the world of politics, the results confirm once again, at least in Denmark, just how much faith the citizens have in wind power as a force of good along the complex yet necessary pathway to a low-carbon future.
Results show 85% of respondents believe that Danish wind power needs to be developed locally.
“The survey seems to puncture the myth that we want to roll with green energy and wind turbines, just not in our own neighborhood,” says Jan Hylleberg, CEO of Wind Industry.
“Contrary, we can see that support for wind turbines [is] massive, even in neighbourhoods where there already are many windmills. The study confirms that there is broad support for an ambitious green energy — including local.”
Other poll results show 62% believe that more than half of the Danish electricity production must come from wind power.
Indeed, according to the Danish Wind Industry Association website, the poll shows wind power is the energy form most Danes prefer. That preference is followed, in decreasing order, by solar power, wave power, geothermal, biomass and finally nuclear, gas, oil and coal.
“It is very satisfying to see that support for an expansion of wind power is so massive,” says Hylleberg, adding both citizens and the industry want Denmark to continue being a leading wind energy nation.
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) applauds the poll results and believes they will provide politicians, in Denmark and throughout the European Union, with a singing endorsement of the many positive benefits of wind power.
For several decades now, Danes have known that wind energy can supply an increasing amount of local, sustainable, dependable and affordable green electricity.
They also know that wind power creates thousands of well-paying jobs annually, prompts bold new R&D projects that will aid future generations and helps mitigate some of the worst ravages associated with climate change caused by burning fossil fuels.
EWEA thinks that those responding to the poll have sent one other unmistakably clear message to politicians in Denmark, the rest of the EU and around the world: Danes are robustly enthusiastic about wind, now and in the years to come.
That clear vote of confidence should be remembered when international negotiators gather in Copenhagen in December to try and reach a new and strengthened climate change agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. After all, wind power is an important part of the solution. Just ask the Danes.
Chris Rose, EWEA