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Denmarks Wind Power Will Be Half The Cost [Pic]

In Two Years, Denmark”s Wind Power Will Be Half the Cost of Fossil Fuels

Wind power is officiallythe cheapest source of energy inDenmark, according to the nation”s governmentand by 2016, it claims the electricity whipped up by its newest turbineswill be half the price of fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Denmark”s Energy Association (everything about Scandinavia is friendlier, even itsDEA) announced the news last week, and it”s an achievement worth highlighting. Wind and solar are achieving grid parity with fossil fuels -that is, it”sjust as cheap-in many places around the world. Even without the tax breaks, declining manufacturing costs and growing scale have rendered wind power just as cheap as natural gas in many states right here in the gas-rich US. And at least one analyst determined that this isthe “beginning of the grid parity era” for solar, worldwide.

But Denmark is blowing past grid parity and towards a scenario in which clean energy is actually much, much cheaper: When its two massive offshore wind farms come online, they”ll be the nation”s most inexpensive energy source by a wide margin, analysts say.

“Electricity from two new onshore wind power facilities set to begin operating in 2016 will cost around 5 euro cents per kilowatt-hour,” Yale 360 explains. “Wind power would remain the cheapest energy option even if interest rates on wind power projects were to increase by 10 percent, the report found.”

That”s good news for a nation that”s hoping to get 50 percent of its power from wind turbines by 2050. Right now, the nation already boasts an impressive clean energy mix of 43 percent.

Wind power today is cheaper than other forms of energy, not least because of a big commitment and professionalism in the field, Rasmus Peterson, Denmark”s energy minister, said at a press conference.This is true for researchers, companies and politicians. We need a long-term and stable energy policy to ensure that renewable energy, both today and in the future, is the obvious choice.

Importantly, the DEA”s analysis”was not based on a full cost-benefit assessment of different technologies that included an assessment of environmental benefits, taxes or subsidies. That is, the agency did not factor in the health and environmental costs of burning fossil fuelswhich are considerableand instead looked directly at the market forces in the country.

Natural gas and coalare much more expensive in Denmark than it is in the US, which helps make wind such an economic bargain, and the nation has explicitly pursued wind power for decades. But improving technology, falling costs, and the strong, consistently blowing offshore winds that will turn the new turbines are making the case airtight.

Yesterday brought the good news that Germany was meeting a full 28.5 percent of its energy needs with clean sources. Now Denmark is proving that running your nation on clean energy can be cheaper than we possibly could have imagined, even ten years ago.

… Oof fossil fuels

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Category: Tech
Date: 08/03/15 10:15 AM

22 Responses to Denmarks Wind Power Will Be Half The Cost [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of drawman61
    drawman61 Male 50-59
    7707 posts
    August 1, 2014 at 6:12 am
    Link: Denmarks Wind Power Will Be Half The Cost - ... Oof fossil fuels
  2. Profile photo of auburnjunky
    auburnjunky Male 30-39
    10339 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 10:26 am
    ...but the costs of the consumer will not fall.

    They`ve actually risen in Germany.

    This is the problem. MAKE IT AFFORDABLE TO THE CONSUMER!
  3. Profile photo of Thjoass
    Thjoass Male 18-29
    53 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 10:43 am
    Winds of change... sorry had to be said
  4. Profile photo of madduck
    madduck Female 50-59
    7421 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 11:46 am
    Good- if the stupid Nimbys would stop blocking it here..
  5. Profile photo of AntEconomist
    AntEconomist Male 40-49
    339 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 11:54 am
    I`d like for this to be true, but I`ve seen far too many claims like this that either (a) are based on peak, not average, wind power generation, or (b) cite only operation costs, excluding construction, or (c) deduct subsidies from costs.

    Never have I seen stats that correctly account for all three of these things yet also show wind to be cheaper than fossil fuels.
  6. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14544 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm
    This does not take into account the merit order of dispatch, nor the fossil fuels (mostly expensive gas turbines and diesel) that need to be on standby to balance the load when the wind doesn`t blow.
  7. Profile photo of Mikeoxsbiggg
    Mikeoxsbiggg Male 30-39
    1502 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm
    Sorry Earth, there`s profit to be had.
  8. Profile photo of CreamK
    CreamK Male 40-49
    1423 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    "It will wreck our economy"
  9. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31764 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    @AntEconomist & @Draculya: Also the projection of 25 years at 100% efficiency.
    - They don`t last the predicted time, especially the ones at sea.
    - After 10-12 years they lose about 20% capacity.

    And especially the fact that every KW of `wind power` also needs a back-up generator on standby, why isn`t THAT cost added too?

    Denmark is a TINY place with LOTS of places to put windmills, and even they can`t make it work?
  10. Profile photo of llaa
    llaa Male 30-39
    1664 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm
    I can see it being cheaper while the wind blows. Saves oil and coal burning for when the wind stops.

    Better batteries would be nice to store the wind energy, but hey the reduction of fuel use is a good thing. Just not so good for the British and USA oil/world brokers.
  11. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    They can claim anything, that doesn`t mean it will happen.
  12. Profile photo of jops360
    jops360 Male 30-39
    689 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm
    5kats and crakrjak get their data from big oil. regular maintenance keeps them at peak efficiency and the "back-up generator" idea is a joke. green energy hurts oil companies grip on society and they spend crap loads of money making sure we hate it.
  13. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm
    ...but the costs of the consumer will not fall.

    They`ve actually risen in Germany.

    That`s because the total costs are much higher. To get a lower figure, things have to be ignored that can`t be ignored in reality.

    The key thing that needs to exist is efficient bulk electricity storage. That would make renewables generally viable (though not necessarily cheaper than fossil fuels) by reducing the problems of lack of control and reliability.
  14. Profile photo of jops360
    jops360 Male 30-39
    689 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm
    dracula -
    batteries store power for later use(the same for solar). depending on size/amount, it could last indefinitely.
  15. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm
    regular maintenance keeps them at peak efficiency

    No, it doesn`t. It reduces the loss of efficiency. At a cost, of course, but less cost than not maintaining them properly.

    and the "back-up generator" idea is a joke.

    Only to people who don`t understand why it`s necessary. Do you like electricity rationing and frequent power cuts? Do you think other people do, including all the businesses that rely on electricity (i.e. virtually every business)?

    Of course, you could partially hide it by buying electricity from nearby countries that generate it by burning fossil fuels. That`s what Germany is doing. But that doesn`t stop it. It just lets you hide it from voters more easily.
  16. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm
    batteries store power for later use(the same for solar). depending on size/amount, it could last indefinitely.

    Well, that statement conclusively proves that you don`t understand the issue.

    Batteries are inadequate by entire orders of magnitude in terms of both capacity and cost even if it was possible to make enough of them, which is why they`re only used on a very small scale.

    The only existing technology that can store (indirectly) enough electricity is pumped hydro and that`s wildly impractical and inefficient in almost all situations. You need one lake above another lake and a hydro station in between. You pump water uphill to convert electricity to potential energy and let it run downhill to convert PE to electricity. Devastating to the local environment, very expensive and very wasteful, but it`s the only existing way to do it.
  17. Profile photo of Sleepyhallow
    Sleepyhallow Male 50-59
    1983 posts
    August 3, 2014 at 11:22 pm
    Ang, you talk and talk and talk about how impractical it is at every level yet this article is another example of yet another country proving how wrong you are.
  18. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 4, 2014 at 7:21 am
    Ang, you talk and talk and talk about how impractical it is at every level yet this article is another example of yet another country proving how wrong you are.

    No, it isn`t.

    It`s another example of how it`s possible to massage figures and ignore any that are too inconvenient in order to fit a desired conclusion.

    You can even go as far as moving the reliable controllable generation to another country to hide it more easily, but you can`t remove the need for it. Not unless you can store huge amounts of electricity in a practical way.
  19. Profile photo of jops360
    jops360 Male 30-39
    689 posts
    August 4, 2014 at 8:40 am
    @angelon -
    " It reduces the loss of efficiency."
    its the same thing. yes it does cost to maintain but its cheaper than coal production with the added benefit of it never being depleted. coal is a finite resource meaning as it gets low the price goes up. on the other hand turbines/batteries get more efficient/cheaper.
    the problem is people like you who try to convince people of "rationing" or how its impractical. what you seem to leave out is that above a certain height, the wind does not stop. that a maintenance plan consists of just one guy one a month cleaning it out. or that after the initial costs are recouped, the energy produced is near free.
  20. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm
    what you seem to leave out is that above a certain height, the wind does not stop.

    Now you`re adding in something else that can`t be done yet.

    High altitude wind power can`t be done yet. I`ve read about several plans to use it, including one brilliantly simple plan to use kites. Attach a kite to a big reel of cable, put a dynamo on the cable and angle the kite to catch the wind. Up it goes, pulling the cable, turning the reel and thus running the dynamo. When it`s all the way out, tilt the kite and it drifts back down. An electric motor reels the cable back in slowly, which uses less power than was generated on the way out.

    But it doesn`t work yet and nor do any of the other plans for high altitude wind power.

    Yes, renewables have the potential to be used for a lot of generating capacity, even all of it. But potential is not reality. Not yet.
  21. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    August 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    its the same thing.

    And there`s some more. Reducing loss of efficiency is not the same as keeping peak efficiency.

    You`re talking about theoretical maximums and technology that doesn`t even exist yet. That`s not something we can afford to gamble human civilisation on. We need to get it working first, then use it.
  22. Profile photo of CrakrJak
    CrakrJak Male 40-49
    17515 posts
    August 5, 2014 at 1:30 am
    jops: You`ve taken a big `ol drink of the "green" kool aid haven`t you?

    Solar and wind power are not going to bring about a "coom-bye-ya" energy miracle and utopia. There have been many many claims of such, since the 1970`s and it`s not going to happen unless there are several great leaps in technology, that we have yet to make.

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