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Denmark Just Set Yet Another World Record for Wind Power
Denmark produced 42 percent of its electricity from wind power in 2015, even though two major wind farms were offline, according to official data from Energinet, Denmark’s transmissions systems operator. That's the highest figure recorded to date worldwide and 3 percent higher than the record Denmark set for wind production in 2014.
In fact, two western regions—Jutland and Funen—supplied more electricity from wind than they consumed for the equivalent of 60 days last year. Wind supplied 55 percent of electricity in the western part of the country and 23 percent in the eastern region.
“Hopefully, Denmark can serve as an example to other countries that it is possible to have both ambitious green policies with a high proportion of wind energy and other renewables in the energy supply, and still have a high security of supply and competitive prices on electricity,” the country’s Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt told The Guardian.
According to Energinet, 2015 was a particularly windy year, which helped Denmark set the new record. But Denmark has been rapidly increasing its overall percentage of wind energy for more than a decade.
“The fact that we are now generating surplus power 16 percent of the time in the Western Danish power grid illustrates that ... we can benefit from imports and exports across borders to an even greater extent,” Carsten Vittrup, an adviser to Energinet, said. Denmark sells excess energy mainly to Norway, Sweden and Germany.
The European Wind Energy Association hailed the news. “These figures show that we are now at a level where wind integration can be the backbone of electricity systems in advanced economies,” Kristian Ruby, the European Wind Energy Association's chief policy officer, told The Guardian.
The Scandinavian country appears to be on track to reach its goal of producing half of all electricity from wind by 2050. Globally, renewable energy saw more money invested ($329.3 billion) and more capacity added in 2015 than ever before, according to data released last week from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Renewables, especially wind and solar, have soared in recent months even amid plummeting fossil fuel prices.
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As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.