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Green thinking

Pioneers in clean energy

Denmark loves clean, renewable energy. Both the public and private sector are committed to an energy system without fossil fuels by 2050.

Clean energy is a Danish passion, and in Denmark 30 percent of all energy used already comes from renewable sources.

Wind energy is well-established in Denmark, which long ago decided to put the Danish climate’s constant breezes and blusters to practical use. Now Denmark produces almost twice as much wind energy per capita as the runner-up among industrialised countries in the OECD.

But you may be surprised to hear that wind energy isn’t the most widely used renewable energy source in Denmark. First place actually belongs to bioenergy, followed by wind, solar and geothermal energy.

Did you know

A giant offshore wind farm is under construction off the island of Møn in the Baltic Sea. When it is finished in 2022, it will produce enough electricity to power 600,000 households. 

Bioenergy from agriculture

More than two-thirds of Denmark's renewable energy comes from bioenergy.

Agriculture is big business in Denmark, and it indirectly helps provide energy too, with manure, animal fats, and straw used as the basis for biogas and liquid biofuels.

Many Danish power plants are switching from fossil fuels to wood pellets, wood chips, or straw.

Wind technology for export

Two of the world’s top innovators in wind energy – MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa – have Danish roots. Together these two companies are responsible for a third of the wind energy produced anywhere in the world.

In fact, Vestas currently produces the world’s most powerful serially-produced turbine, the 9.5MW It has a rotor diameter of 164 meters – about the length of ten parking spaces! 

A first mover in the wind business

Denmark began looking into the possibilities of wind energy after the oil crisis of 1973. A nascent wind turbine industry emerged as a spin-off of the manufacturing of agricultural machinery, and the first commercial wind turbine was erected in 1979. That’s also around the time that precursors to MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa were founded.

The success of onshore wind power inspired the development of offshore wind energy. In 2002, the first commercial offshore wind farm was established in the North Sea about 14-20 kilometres off the coast of Jutland.