Graphic of the Day: How wind energy powered 100% of Denmark, and some of its neighbours

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Last Thursday, Denmark’s wind farms generated 140% of its energy needs in the course of one day.

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Denmark has long led the world in wind power generation – last year it generated a world record 39.1 per cent of its overall electricity from wind. But last week, Danish wind farms managed to meet 100 per cent of the country’s domestic electricity demand in one day, as well as generating enough excess power to export to Norway, Germany and Sweden.

On a day that started with a wild weather warning, Denmark produced 116 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand from wind turbines on Thursday July 09, and 140 per cent overnight. As the Guardian has reported and the graphic (taken from below shows, interconnectors connecting Denmark’s grid with its neighbours allowed 80 per cent of the surplus power generated to be shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for use later. Sweden took the remaining fifth of excess power.


Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.56.23 pm

The feat was confirmed by the Danish transmission systems operator,, which provides a minute-by-minute account of renewable power in the national grid, which noted that the nation’s wind farms were not even operating at their full 4.8GW capacity at the time of the generation peaks.

“It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association, in an interview with the Guardian. “Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonisation – and also security of supply at times of high demand.”

“If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s ageing grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market,” Joy said.

Here are the vital wind stats, taken at 10.44pm on July 09:

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.04.33 pmDenmark currently has a target of producing 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

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1 Comment
  1. Doug Hendren MD 4 years ago

    Critics take note. Grid refinements, some storage and modest, intentional overcapacity are a logical and economically feasible recipe to achieving 100% renewable power.

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