Denmark is arguably first and foremost when it comes to the implementation of wind harvested electricity. Thus the experiences with wind energy in Denmark may serve as an example for the rest of the green inclined world.
But the news isn’t all that good, as Michael Trebilcock describes in the National Post.
Denmark, the world’s most wind-intensive nation, with more than 6,000 turbines generating 19% of its electricity, has yet to close a single fossil-fuel plant. It requires 50% more coal-generated electricity to cover wind power’s unpredictability, and pollution and carbon dioxide emissions have risen (by 36% in 2006 alone).
The experience in Germany is similar, where additional coal- and gas-fired plants have been constructed to ensure reliable delivery. Thus it is that academics are now estimating that more wind turbines may actually lead to an INCREASE in CO2 emissions, due to the extra plants one needs to back up the turbines in times of reduced wind. Added to that are the environmental impact effects of the turbines themselves on wildlife, farm animals and the landscape.
That would not be so bad if the electricity produced on wind farms was reasonably priced. But the price per kWh is the highest of all alternatives. Additionally, the jobs created in the green sector do not offset the jobs lost due to increased energy costs and diversion of tax money to green subsidies. A study focussing on Spain calculated that for every job created in the green subsidized sector, 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere.
This is why Aase Madsen , the Chair of Energy Policy in the Danish Parliament, calls it “a terribly expensive disaster”. One can only agree.
(h/t De Dagelijkse Standaard)