Massive wind turbine push in the US benefits Danish firms – The Post

Massive wind turbine push in the US benefits Danish firms

Despite the best efforts of President Trump, sustainable energy initiatives are still alive and well in the US

Block Island Wind Farm, the first offshore wind farm in the US (photo: Dennis Schroeder/NREL)
May 1st, 2019 3:01 pm| by Stephen Gadd

Falling electricity prices from offshore wind farms is making it more competitive with power from new coal-fired power stations and thus attractive to US politicians from both parties.

Danish companies are in the forefront when it comes to contracts for new wind turbine parks, especially on the US east coast where tenders for offshore electricity projects for 20 GW – the equivalent of 10 million households – have been up for grabs.

On the cutting edge
Denmark has a technological edge in wind technology and conditions, particularly on the east coast, are very similar to those in Denmark, with lots of wind and shallow water.

“Denmark has been a pioneer and wind-turbines were more or less invented in Denmark,” Thomas Brostrøm, the head of Danish energy giant Ørsted’s US arm, told DR Nyheder.

“We’re looking at an industry here in the US with investments in the region of 500 billion kroner”.

Ørsted has already won a contract for one of the wind-turbine parks on the east coast and is at present fighting to win another one in New York State.

READ ALSO: Denmark is the undisputed OECD wind energy champ

Fifty separate countries
“Danes think of the US as one country but actually, it is 50 countries under one flag and much of the energy policy comes under individual states,” said Brostrøm.

A lot of ordinary people outside Washington are deeply concerned with climate change problems and how the US can play a role in slowing global warming.

“People in America have many different opinions but it is important to emphasise that there are elected leaders in the US who are very worried about climate change,” Scott Pattison, head of the organisation for the country’s governors told DR.

A helping hand
Both the Energy Ministry in Copenhagen and the Danish embassy in Washington have been working to smooth the way for Danish companies, partly by inviting key political figures to Denmark so that they can see how wind turbines are integrated into the Danish energy system with their own eyes.

“We’re learning from Denmark and the Danish government has been very accommodating in terms of giving us advice on the best way of using and going forward with wind turbines,” said Pattison.

So if all goes well, despite Trump’s 2017 decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the US might end up living up to the Paris goals after all.