Larger turbines could be on the way in Denmark

Also on the horizon: a new showdown between wind energy friends and foes

Wind turbines could get larger (photo: tinahu) Wind turbines could get larger (photo: tinahu)
January 4th, 2016 12:18 pm| by Ray W
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Improving technologies could result in turbines springing up on the Danish countryside that exceed the current limit of 150 metres in height.

Members of the wind turbine industry, including Vestas, think the time has come for a change.

“Actually, we thought we had reached the maximum for the height of wind turbines on land, but we have developed a new tower construction so that we can increase the height and size,” Anders Vedel, the technical manager at Vestas, told Jyllands-Posten.


Is bigger better?
Vestas has now constructed turbines of heights up to 166 metres and blades of up to 67 metres.

The wind industry said that politicians wanting more and less expensive green energy should support the larger turbines.

“At some point we need to discuss height limits as they relate to municipal planning because technology now offers new opportunities in this area,” said Jan Hylleberg, the head of Vindmølleindustrien, the Danish wind industry association.

Strange bedfellows
While the conservation group Danmarks Naturfredningsforening is basically opposed to the placement of wind turbines in nature areas, they are ready to accept the larger turbines.

“If the larger turbines can pull more energy from the wind, making green energy more profitable, then height limits is a discussion worth taking,” said Michael Leth Jess, the head of Danmarks Naturfredningsforening.

Troels Lund Poulsen, the business and growth minister, is an opponent of giant wind turbines on land.

“I am deeply sceptical about changing the current limit,” said Poulsen. “Large turbines like this belong at sea.”

READ MORE: Wind turbine on Samsø crumbled into the sea

A majority in parliament agreed in 2012 that 50 percent of electricity should be generated from wind power by 2020.