Denmark plans to secure 100% of its energy to renewables. In other words, renewable energy sources would account for all Denmark’s energy needs across all sectors by 2050.
The Danish land is home to constant climate breeze, which is further utilized to harness wind energy.
According to Statistics on the capacity of active wind turbines in Denmark by Statista; In 2020, wind turbines accounted for 6259 Megawatts and had about a 10% increase by 2021.
It’s a giant leap. But at this rate, 100% renewable energy for all sectors by 2050 could be achievable as Denmark is the world-leading country in Wind energy and turbine production. Making the wind production per capita greater than other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
Denmark’s Renewable Energy Journey, how far They’ve Come.
Wind energy is the primary source of electricity generation in Denmark. 2020 showed a massive increase in electricity generation through wind turbines (56%) as opposed to 2016 (43%).
Renewable energy in Denmark has also been utilized in the transportation sector. Showing less interest in fossil fuels and harnessing the power of bioethanol and EVs. Denmark sought to abolish CO2 emissions from vehicles and initiated a “green transport” proposal in 2008
First hitting an October 1973 oil crisis, Denmark sought to improve innovations in greener energy over the coming years. These innovations arrived in the form of a feasible scheme of eliminating fossil fuels in domestic flights by 2030, and a €400m Danish aid by the EU to support electricity produced from renewable energy sources.
To this end, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said she wanted to “make flying green”.
Thereby putting methods in place of cutting down carbon emissions from aircraft by 70%, compared to 1990 levels. She admitted that the solutions for this target are not yet put in place. However, it’s something worth working towards.
This is another major step towards a greener future as compared with Denmark’s early years of energy schemes.
Factors and Policies Aiding the Growth of Renewable Energy in Denmark
Despite a vision of a 100% renewable energy scheme for the Danish Government, specific policies influence the rate of progress in renewable energy industries.
For example, a report showed that in 1976, the Danish Government established a long term energy plan to curb the increase of energy demands in the near future. Nuclear energy was to play a role, but two Danish NGOs were established in the 1970s to go against nuclear power and raise concern amongst individuals in the society.
And in 1985, Denmark abolished nuclear energy from the energy scheme due to dependency on foreign technology.
Denmark must think of possible solutions and reiterate its strategies towards promoting a greener future. Most of which can be implemented through:
i) The choice of renewable energy technology
ii) The economic support system which positions how much investment can be allocated for renewable energy projects and technologies.
iii) Intentional executions of ideal alternatives under the idea of a cleaner, in line with national policies.
Ongoing Renewable Energy Projects in Denmark
Today, the majority of energy generated in Denmark comes from wind turbines. The renewable energy capacity statistics for 2021 shows the wind power installed capacity to be 6,235MW.
The wind capacity per capita also exceeds that of other OECD countries.
Statistics like this favour the establishment of energy projects mainly restricted to wind energy.
One of which is the Kriegers Flak amongst others;
I) Kriegers Flak: Krieger’s Flak is Denmark’s biggest wind energy farm under construction in the Baltic sea on the Danish part of the reef. It is capable of generating enough electricity to power over 600,000 households over its estimated lifespan of 25 years.
Construction works for the project started with manufacturing of the monopile foundations by May 2019. After which, the first turbine was installed at the beginning of 2021, and 72 more were completed in the summer of 2021.
II) Thor offshore wind farm: Thor is named after Thorsminde, the nearest village on the shore. It has a capacity of min 800 MW and max 1000 MW and will be connected to the grid between 2025 and 2027. And will be established a minimum of 22 kilometres off the coast of Thorsminde.
It spans a wide area of about 286km-squared and will be established (a minimum of 22 kilometres) off the coast of Thorsminde.
III) Energy Islands: The world’s first energy islands will be constructed in Denmark. Basically, with the capability of powering millions of households and possibly neighbouring countries.
Harnessing the resources in the Baltic seas, the plan envisions an island that can act as a hub capable of serving offshore wind farms by creating better connections between energy systems and energy from offshore wind.
Experts Projection on Renewable Energy in Denmark
Despite Denmark’s significant ambitions and progress over the years, some expert opinions on how the Danish Government handles renewable energy are far from validatory.
The Popular Mechanics magazine, home of eight national award nominations, have considered whether 100% renewable energy is a major possibility for Denmark.
As stated, if cheap renewable energy sources put fossil fuel plants out of business right now, the Danish could easily find themselves in a powerless position on a windless day.
For a worst-case scenario, an icy-cold winter’s night with too many houses depending on wind plants for heating and not enough fossil fuel plants ready to act as an emergency backup.
James Kanter of New York Times, covering the struggles over European integration, talked about the howling winter weather in 2010. During the winter, thousands of Denmark windmills produced so much energy that they had to pay other countries to take the excess.
Making a major concern to be the supply of electricity exceeding demand for about 1,000 hours each year by 2020. This might go on until there are substantial changes in the way electricity is managed in Denmark, says Mr BirkebaekMakin.
Careful studies and analysis show how well the Danish have improved their renewable energy goals over the years.
By 2020, about 46% of Danish energy was used in the heating and cooling sector( air conditioning furnaces, domestic heating), the transport sector(33.6%) and the electricity sector (19.8%).
Much focus is being diverted to improving the amount of energy targeted at the electricity sector and the amount of renewable energy in all industries in general. The Danish Government is ambitious and enthusiastic, and it’s only a matter of time before their goals are realized.
Therefore, it’s necessary to apply simple steps to further attain the “green milestone” in the long run.
Belgium is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy nations in Europe. For over a decade, the country has seen its renewable energy usage grow from about 3% in 2006 to over 13% in 2021. Regardless, the internal political instability within the region has affected the fast growth of this mission. Three federal regions share the energy policy responsibility in Belgium. They include Brussels (the capital), Flanders and Wallonia.
The regions are responsible for acquiring and distributing all kinds of energy (renewable and non-renewable). Currently, renewable energy is mainly used in the heat sector in Belgium. Its aim is to improve the rising energy demand trend using renewable energy to enhance electricity capacity and reduce fossil fuels’ usage.
Growth of Renewable Energy in Belgium
These are exciting times for renewable energy in Belgium. The country had made a statement to reduce its dependability on fossil fuels and increase its shares in renewable energy.
Recently, Belgium has prioritized a long term approach for energy sustainability and affordability. The country’s government is working decisively on a national energy strategy that will attract critical investment in the renewable energy project in the country. One of the decisions taken by the government is to make sure that all nuclear plants in the region shut down by 2022, at the latest 2025.
However, this poses a serious challenge for Belgium because half of the country’s electricity generation is powered by nuclear plants. Therefore, the government is following closely with the principles of transparency, predictability, and regulatory certainty to make energy further diversified and energy demand further limited.
Factors and Policies Aiding the Growth of Renewable Energy in Belgium
The energy challenges that Belgium faces are significant and increasing. It is clear that developing countries, just like Belgium, will have to face the challenges that come with the policies expected of developing or developed countries. However, The growth of renewable energy in Belgium can only grow when aided by certain policies.
Speaking of policies, it is required that there is a collaborative system that brings all the sectors of the community together, ranging from individuals to business enterprises and the government.
Belgium must take the lead in charting new energy courses for itself. However, Belgium must stand ready to provide support, recognizing that they have a vital stake in the outcome. These policy actions include:
- Promoting energy efficiency and adopting minimum efficiency standards for buildings, appliances and equipment, and vehicles.
- Reforming and re-directing the usage of nuclear plants.
- Recognizing the most encouraging native environmentally friendly power assets and executing policies that would aid ecological sustainability.
- Establishing infrastructural capacity needed to contain renewable energy (RE) technology while liaising with developed countries for renewable energy resources.
- Intentional and rapid execution of clean, affordable and sustainable energy across several regions of the country.
Ongoing Renewable Energy Projects in Belgium
Belgium historically covers the most significant part of its electricity needs with its seven nuclear reactors at the Doel and Tihange nuclear plants. However, a gradual nuclear exit has been decided, with the first nuclear reactor scheduled to close in October 2022 and the last in October 2025.
The share of renewables in electricity production (MWh) and generation capacity (MW) has increased significantly over the last decade. Belgium’s renewable energy installed capacity has risen from around 2.9 GW in 2010 to about 9.5 GW in 2019 and now represents approximately 39% of installed capacity.
The most prominent means of renewable energy in Belgium is wind and solar power. The country has an ongoing production process of 4.8 GW of PV solar installations and 3.8 GW of offshore and onshore wind installation.
Although Belgium has a relatively short coastline, it has become a powerhouse for offshore wind energy over the past decade.
Finally, in addition to solar PV and (onshore and offshore) wind energy, there is approximately 1.4 GW of hydro (mainly pumped hydro), 800 MW of biomass, and 292 MW of waste-based renewable energy production plant in Belgium.
Experts’ Projection on RE in Belgium
Experts opinion about the potential of renewable energy in Belgium is projected towards the high-side. More so, Belgium is primarily invested in PV Solar Systems and could help the region achieve its contribution towards the EU target of renewables.
Belgium’s renewable energy growth is expected to go from 20% to over 25% within the next two years. According to the “Towards 100% renewable energy in 2050” plan: Belgium can grow its household project of PV solar panels at rooftops to about 50GW. Although there’s a possibility, they exceed these figures. The estimated threshold of PV solar installation in the nearest future has been tipped to go as high as 170 GW.
The implementation of this plan has been set in motion since late 2012 but has been delayed due to cost. However, the analysis of the potential of renewable energy resources remains intact.
Belgium came up with a plan in 2018 to see this through by generating at least 1 GW solar capacity yearly starting from 2020. By 2030, there should be a cumulative capacity of over 20 GW which is very close to the potential analysis forecasted
Consequently, it appears the Belgium government felt they could be doing better. Hence, The Belgian National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) have decided to take this head-on by increasing their renewable energy target to 50% to achieve a 500MW total power generation in a decade or two.
A careful study of energy consumption in Belgium shows that close to 10% of the energy consumed or in demand is supplied by renewable energy resources. Therefore, the plan is to distribute the renewable energy generated across several sectors such as electricity, transportation, logistics, and environmental sustainability.
The Belgian government is ambitious, but they are pretty content with the baby steps towards renewable energy in the region. The government is taking the time to seek counsel and making public consultations to set them on track for the commission of the NECP.
Wind Energy is cheap, clean, and environment-friendly and has been a major renewable energy source over the years. Globally, wind energy deployment has expanded averagely by 21% annually since 2008 as more countries are implementing it commercially. Sweden alone has more than 4,000 wind turbines that supplied up to 27.6 TWh of power in 2020. More so, it is expected that by 2030, 5 – 30 GW floating offshore capacity will be installed worldwide.
Wind turbines recently produced have capacities ranging from as low as 250 watts to as high as 7 Megawatts. Also, a wind turbine (onshore) of about 2.5-3MW can power up to 1500 average homes in an hour.
The Trend Of Events In Wind Energy Supply
Wind turbines need to be situated in places where the wind speed can best be optimized. However, these locations may not always be where the power is needed. The power generated has to be transmitted to the relevant site for use. Thankfully, the supply of wind energy and power from generation to consumption has improved over the years because of its inclusion in the power grids of some countries worldwide.
Also, wind turbines have subsequently gotten taller with time because wind speed increases with height. This height increment is because manufacturers of these turbines have realized that they can do more. Beyond height, many other features of the turbines have been made bigger to improve their efficiency. A larger rotor diameter, for example, can capture more wind over a larger area and produce more electricity. The same thing goes for other parts of the turbine. However, the transportation and installation of these large parts have not been easy, even though innovations are being made for better wind turbine materials.
Regarding energy storage, it has always been a point of interest in wind energy because of its stochastic nature. So it needs a good means of storage to augment times when the output is low.
Thus, with recent battery technologies, alongside other energy storage innovations like compressed air storage, V2G, pumped-storage hydroelectricity, and the likes, there’s a promising future.
Factors That Would Improve Wind Energy Supply
As wind energy supply has improved over the years, we must understand how we got here for us to move to the next phase. How did we get to do things better, and how can we move forward? Some factors are essential in making a change for a sustainable supply of wind energy. They include:
1. Favourable policies
Many countries in the European Union have put things in place to favour the use of renewable energy generally, including wind energy. Some include renewable energy directives, incentives, carbon taxes, and the likes. These actions have pushed for more improvements in wind energy supply, especially in countries that they’re being maximized, such as Germany, Spain, France, and the UK. The EU is working towards cutting carbon emissions by 55% in 2030, which is one of the motivations for these policies.
Still, more can be done if there is an achievement of those milestones that will lead to the future. Not all countries have been meeting the goals for wind energy generation, and this does not even afford them the chance to work on better supply mechanisms for wind energy.
Also, some regulatory and permitting processes on wind energy are still time-consuming due to concerns over variable power on the grid. In every place where wind energy has been adopted maximally as a result of supporting policies, there is a platform to improve supply techniques.
2. Newer storage facilities
With adequate storage, the future is almost here and planned for. Wind energy gives the power that can be stored in large-capacity batteries. If we would experience the change we see ahead, there has to be an improvement on the existing storage facilities. This is because the power generation would continue to increase as more wind turbines would be deployed around the world.
Even the costs of wind energy have been projected to decline up to 49% by 2050, and this would lead to a greater rate of adoption of wind-powered systems that would, in turn, need more storage.
3. Use of technologies to manage fluctuations
Forecasting models can be used to predict power that would be generated from wind energy sources despite their fluctuations. Using intelligent machine learning models, proper data allocation can be done to optimize cost and power from time to time. Adopting these technologies would lead to the next phase of innovation in wind energy supply. An example is the use of forecasting models to properly manage the running of wind turbines.
Hive Power’s Forecaster handles short-term forecasting that enables grid operators and wind energy suppliers to make the right decisions, put in necessary resources at specific times, and meet up with demand and set the correct costs.
What To Expect In Ten Years For Wind Energy Supply
Experts’ projections tell that onshore wind energy would cost much less than it is now, and offshore wind energy even less. It is interesting to note that even before now, experts’ predictions on wind energy have been correct and even more positive. For example, the steady and accelerated cost reduction in wind energy since 2015 has been greater than the projections made ahead. It is safe to expect more, considering all that has been put in place.
With the use and supply of wind energy, by 2050, up to 260 billion gallons of water that would have been used for fossil fuel power generation would be saved. Also, we would avoid the emission of up to 2.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases.
In ten years, the cumulative amount of power supplied by wind energy is expected to triple, making a lot of difference in the energy sector and the environment.
The trend of energy usage from various energy sources in Spain tells that a revolution is growing. Merely looking at how development has moved in Spain, we see clearly that the increased consumption of energy has called for increased power generation over the years. In 2011, only 249.7TWh of 276.8TWh of the energy produced in Spain was consumed, and it was still a large amount.
Spain is currently populated by 47.1 million people, and each citizen relies on energy for their activities. Spain is the sixth-largest energy consumer in Europe and mostly has to import fuel. This is a result of the lack of abundant petroleum resources.
Generally, fossil fuel, wind, solar, nuclear, and hydroelectric energy sources are actively utilized in Spain. However, Spain is one of the countries that has started working actively to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Right from the early 2000s, Spain has been making efforts to focus more on renewable energy. While this is major because of the adverse effects of fossil fuels on the environment, it has also brought advancements in energy management and proper utilization.
The Growth of Renewable Energy in Spain.
To date, Spain keeps making progress in the production and use of renewable energy. For a country that used to import a lot of coal and release subsidies for the cause, the new changes have a great impact on the economy. Some highlights in the trend of events relating to renewable energy in Spain are listed below.
- The global recession in 2008 significantly reduced the power generation rate in Spain by 11%, yet the market keeps bouncing back.
- Significant progress has been made in the generation of power from renewable energy. On barely comparing 2016 and last year, we see the difference is clear. Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, renewable energy generation in 2020 was 43.6% of gross electricity generation, which is an improvement from the 39% produced in 2016. In the newsletter by the Spanish grid operator – Red Electrica de Espana – it was recorded that this was the highest recorded so far.
- Wind energy has become a major part of the renewable energy sector, but solar photovoltaics are still coming up, despite the vastness of solar resources. Last year (2020), the reduction in overall power demand did not stop renewable energy sources from flourishing.
The Challenges Facing Renewable Energy Policies in Spain
Spain had set a target in 2014 to be met for renewable energy by 2020: 42.6% of total electricity generated. Moreover, in 2018, the goal has been increased to 70% by 2030. Consequently, the renewable energy regulations in Spain also say that emissions must be reduced by 20%.
Even with all of these bright sides, a major challenge to the effective use and implementation of renewable energy in Spain is the lack of resources, successive change in governments, and so much reliance on government as regards renewable energy. As governments change, policies have changed.
Despite the situation, the European Union approved a support scheme earlier this year to support energy-intensive companies in Spain. This scheme, which is set to run till December 2022, is a great investment. Their government would carry out more projects, and renewable energy will be of great benefit to the energy status of Spain. This was done under EU state aid, and it is truly of great help.
Ongoing Renewable Energy Projects and Initiatives in Spain.
These projects reflect a deep commitment to development and sustainability. Solar and wind power generation have the highest percentage of renewable energy in Spain. Some examples of projects and initiatives on each (solar and wind power) are highlighted below.
1. Total Solar Project in Spain
Total Energies is planning to thrive on the promising solar market in Spain. Total is currently planning to enter the solar market via partnerships. Two partners have agreed on the two gigawatts (2GW) solar projects – Powertis and Solarbay Renewable Energy. This project would make a great impact on the renewable energy sector of Spain.
The partnership between Total Solar International and Powertis is a 65%-35% one that would need Powertis to bring a pipeline of 800MW. This project started last year. Also, Total is obtaining all 1.2GW portfolio of projects by Solarbay. The projects are all to end by the latest 2023.
2. Wind Power Generation by Various Companies – Enel Green Power’s Wind Farm
Certain suppliers of wind energy in Spain (Gamesa Eólica, Alstom Wind, Acciona Energy, Iberdrolla, MTorres, and the rest) are still going strong in their operations. As of 2015, Spain became the fifth biggest wind power producer in the world. Producing up to 48,118 GWh of power from wind turbines that year, which formed 19% of the total power generated.
Enel Green Power is currently building a wind farm in Spain with an investment of €181 million ($220 million). This project would feature 43 wind turbines and can generate up to 471GWh of clean energy. The project aims to meet one of the major goals of renewable energy development – reducing carbon emissions. Consequently, when this project comes fully up by next year as we expect, it will offset up to 385,505 tonnes of carbon emissions. This is a big one for the progress of renewable energy in Spain.
For a study period of 2020-2026, experts have it that the CAGR of the renewable energy market in Spain would be more than 6%. This is a result of encouraging government policies and the need to reduce climate-damaging emissions.
Solar power installations are projected to be up to 30GW by 2030. This would be significant in moving renewable energy in Spain forward. Also, the market of offshore wind power has remained untapped and would give opportunities in the next ten years.
Optimistically, another projection for Spain is the tendency to outdo the predictions for renewable energy additions. Argus’ monitoring of proposed wind projects envisions a higher level of wind power generation in a few years.
Spain has come a long way and can fight through its challenges for the sake of improving renewable energy. From the generation of power to utilization, the energy stakeholders in Spain need to maximize available resources and smart grid technologies to meet up with the bright future catching up with the rest of the world.
Energy sources have metamorphosed throughout the history of technological innovations. The need to meet the demand requirements with supply targets has been top of mind for energy researchers and innovators.
Renewable energy sources have turned out to be the answer to balancing out energy needs worldwide. Carbon neutral sources such as sunlight, wind, geothermal heat and rain are perfect examples of renewable sources, while biomass fuels made from organic and animal matter such as wood, waste from farms and energy crops have a debatable carbon neutral status but still play a significant role in the renewable energy industry.
There are four primary areas where renewables are utilized: electricity production, heating and cooling, off-grid energy needs and transportation. In Germany, renewable energy sources are primarily based on wind, solar and biomass fuels.
Interesting Facts About Renewable Energy In Germany
Germany has gradually been phasing out its use of fossil fuels in the electricity sector, targeting to reduce the emissions used in this sector by nearly 60% by 2030. They are among the early adopters of renewable energy, going as far back as the 1990s.
In 2020, Germany’s gross electricity generation from renewable sources peaked at 251 terawatt-hours bringing it closer to becoming a major contributor to the European Union’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Although wind power is the primary source of renewable energy in Germany, offshore wind farms only recently contributed to this energy sector. On the other hand, Hydropower contributes the least to the energy generation sector in Germany with a steady decline from the 2000s. With the expansion of the wind energy sector, employment has also increased, leading to nearly 121,000 employees as of 2020.
This energy mix works well for Germany as it does not have to rely on only one source of renewables and can function adequately with the options at its disposal.
How Far Germany Has Come In The Renewable Energy Journey.
Energiewende is a compound word used to express Germany’s all-encompassing climate and energy strategy. The term is a combination of two words: energy and transition. It gained popularity after a book with the same name was published in the 1980s, outlining its exact meaning and reasons for adoption. It started as an approach involving energy efficiency, energy security, renewables and nuclear phaseout, with climate change coming in much later into the mix. Its success or failure, however, is constantly measured via carbon emissions counts. Germany has a target of cutting down its present emissions by 80 – 95%, below the levels seen in the 1990s.
Industries in Germany have not had the smoothest ride through this renewables roller coaster, but one sector that has given way for a new one is the coal sector. The structural transformation that took hold of the coal sector saw five times as many employees in the wind energy sector as coal, starting from the 2000s. With further data analysis, it was evident that roughly one in two employees of the energy sector works in renewables, that is almost 700,000 more people in the energy sector as compared to the early days of Energiewende.
Germany has acquired exponential growth in the wind energy sector, which accounted for 23.7 per cent of total electricity generated in 2020. The use of solar PV, which was at one point Europe’s largest solar market and the hydropower stations, which produced 18.7 billion kilowatts in 2020, is also part of this energy sector growth. They also stand as the fifth largest bioenergy capacity globally, with a cumulative installed capacity of biomass plants reaching 9,301 megawatts in 2020.
Favourable Renewable Energy Policies In Germany
In Germany, the market premium scheme is the major support for renewables. This type of scheme is characteristic of several EU countries.
Some support schemes are
- Feed-in-Tariff: this is a policy that guarantees above market price for producers. It works for power plants of up to 100 KW, where the amount of tariff is set by law and paid by the grid operator to the plant operators for 20 years.
- Tendering: these are competitive mechanisms for allocating financial support to renewable energy sources projects, usually based on the cost of electricity production. For Germany, onshore and offshore wind projects starting from 750 kW, solar projects starting from 750 kW, biomass plants starting from 150 kW and already existing biomass plants must be awarded in a tendering procedure.
Other policies include:
- Training programmes for Installers: Installers are trained in the art of renewables technologies in the framework of craftsmen training.
- Certification Programmes for RES installations: Plants must comply with the technical requirements by acquiring certificates depending on the particular technology to be connected to the grid.
- Exemplary role of public authorities: Public authorities must promote an exemplary role in carrying out their duties on renewable energy.
Ongoing Renewable Energy Projects In Germany
According to the European Energy Agency, within the EU, offshore wind energy production is expected to increase up to five times by 2040. In the German Baltic Sea, several projects are meant to be underway with a call for tenders to install renewable energy sources in three zones within the Baltic Sea, sent out by the German government on March 1 2021.
Other projects such as Borkum Riffgrund 3, a 900 MW offshore wind farm, is scheduled for operation in 2025, while the Kaskasi project will be commissioned by 2022.
Expert Projections On Renewable Energy Growth In Germany
Wind energy production could become the most crucial energy source in Europe by 2050, and Germany could produce 36 GW of this energy through offshore wind energy by 2050. However, with the closure of coal-fired power plants, Germany may have to increase this production rate to 50 GW to compensate for those closures. The general plan is to produce 20 GW by 2030 and increase that to 40 GW by 2040.
Despite having several renewable energy sources, Germany is focusing on wind energy to make sure it meets its set targets and the EU and Paris Agreement. These targets are ambitious but necessary in the long run. And we believe that by integrating smart grid technologies and powerful grid data analytics software, Germany is a step closer to achieving its targets more effectively.