2017 was a record year for wind energy in Denmark, where wind energy on average covered 43.6 percent of Danish electricity consumption. However, Christmas was something very special, because Danes could enjoy their traditional Christmas duck prepared with 100% wind power!
Danes are world leaders in the green change, and this is due to a combination of political commitment and the country’s housing of the world’s leading wind turbine OEMs and many industry-leading subcontractors. While Danes are thrilled that their greatest Christmas wish came through, the Danish politicians are currently working on a new Energy Agreement.
2018 will in all ways be an interesting and decisive year for the Danish wind power industry. Solar and onshore wind power are now the cheapest energy forms. For the first time, technology-neutral tenders on onshore wind and solar will be implemented.
Denmark, as a country, does not become the first to install offshore wind turbines without subsidies, but the ambition of non-subsidized wind energy is a goal in the ongoing negotiations of the Energy Agreement. Politicians are aware that the road to non-subsidized wind power is shortest and cheapest possible if a relevant market is existing, if the right supply and subsidy models are chosen and if ambitious targets for 2030 are defined.
Also, a future Danish Energy Agreement should solve the challenges regarding energy taxes and electrification. The Danish Wind Industry Association has recommended that the Energy Agreement increases research appropriations in the energy field to 1 billion DKK annually, in order to maintain the strong Danish position in this area.
The Danish Wind Industry Association also wants an Energy Agreement that will provide a strategy for the green adventure on the North Sea. They also need to develop a clear model for dealing with situations where, for example, multinational tech giants want to build an offshore wind farm. In essence, the Energy Agreement is to deliver a roadmap for situations like this.
Denmark’s contribution to the Northern European market is important for development of technology and companies’ willingness to make new investments. Therefore, it is recommended that a significant wind turbine market is to be established in Denmark, which will push prices for wind energy down and drive the green revolution.
We will soon find out if the Danish government follows the recommendation of the Danish Wind Industry Association with a model based on a Contract for Difference Model (CfD). A CfD model would ensure that the Danish government will soon receive income from the expansion of wind power, rather than paying subsidies.
An exciting 2018 is just in front of us.
By Peter Nyegaard Jensen, Head of Sales, Denmark, The Switch