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Denmark Just Set Yet Another World Record for Wind Power

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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.

Denmark has been rapidly increasing its overall percentage of wind energy over the last decade from 18 percent in 2005. Photo credit: Energinet

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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