Better use of wind power could pay big for Denmark

Study shows that technological investments could yield 2.3 billion kroner return

The strong winds we’ve been experiencing recently can be a nuisance for cyclists and umbrella users, but they result in a lot of energy being generated by the country’s wind power network. So much so, in fact, that there is periodically more energy generated than can be used.

A new study suggests that big socioeconomic gains could be made by investing in technology to use wind-generated energy more efficiently.

Massive investment
The study, conducted by the energy consulting company Ea Energianalyse, recommends investing in 500 MW immersion heaters at the central power stations and 500 MW heating pumps. This would allow wind energy to be used more effectively in the district heating sector.

The investment involved would be massive – running up to almost 8 billion kroner – but Ea Energianalyse calculates that these improvements could yield a 2.3 billion kroner return.

The report also includes a projection for investing in a 700 MW cable to the Netherlands for increasing the capacity to export energy. This would cost 4.4 billion kroner but would return 990 million kroner over the period considered (to 2035).

Asbjørn Bjerre, the head of the wind turbine owners’ interest organisation Danmarks Vindmølleforening, welcomed the study's findings. “The study shows that it can be worth it for society to ensure that the value of wind power is increased,” he said.

“If the market price falls more and more at the times when wind turbines are running – because there is more and more wind power without a corresponding increase in electricity consumption – there won’t be many people who dare to invest in wind power.”

The report has been submitted to parliament's committee on climate, energy and construction.