Middelgrunden offshore wind farm outside Copenhagen, Denmark, November 27 2019. Picture: REUTERS/ANDREAS MORTENSEN
Middelgrunden offshore wind farm outside Copenhagen, Denmark, November 27 2019. Picture: REUTERS/ANDREAS MORTENSEN

Copenhagen — Denmark sourced almost half its electricity consumption from wind power in 2019, a new record boosted by steep cost reductions and improved offshore technology.

Wind accounted for 47% of Denmark’s power usage in 2019, the country’s grid operator Energinet said on Thursday, citing preliminary data, up from 41% in 2018 and topping the previous record of 43% in 2017.

European countries are global leaders in using wind power but Denmark is far in front of nearest rival Ireland, which sourced 28% of its power from wind in 2018, according to data from industry group WindEurope.

Across the EU, wind accounted for 14% of consumption in 2019, the group says.

The higher proportion of wind energy in Denmark was partly due to Vattenfall starting operations at the Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm in the North Sea in August. 

The share of power from wind turbines at sea increased to 18% in 2019 from 14% in 2018, Energinet said. Onshore wind accounted for 29% in 2019.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in October that while power generated from wind turbines at sea only accounts for 0.3% of today’s global electricity generation, capacity is set to increase 15-fold over the next two decades.

Denmark aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030, with a new climate law passed late in 2020 targeting an increase in the share of electricity sourced from renewable power to 100%.

Denmark, home to wind turbine giant Vestas and the world’s largest developer of offshore wind Ørsted, has favourable wind conditions and began investing heavily in wind power in the 1970s. 

Reuters