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National context synthesis

Wind Energy in Denmark


About the project

Project partners

Project results

European conference



The special Danish windmill tradition (from 1890's to the second half of the XXth century)
Thanks to the work of scientist and Askov folk high school professor, Poul la Cour, the first experimental electricity windmill was built as early as in 1891 giving birth to the special Danish windmill tradition. From here the movement evolves that, from the beginning of the 20th century, equipped almost all larger farms in the Danish landscape with a "wind engine"
The difficult years of competition from fossil energies (1960's to 1973).
In the 1960’s the farmers effectively stopped maintaining the iron constructions of the windmills and finally pulled them down, because they could not compete with the cheap power supply from the central power plants The power station produced electric power, the petrol engine was triumphant, and few people thought that wind power had any future.
Rebirth and acceleration of wind energy development (from 1973 on).
The historical turning point of the wind energy development was the 1973 energy crisis. At the same time the debate on utilising nuclear power in Denmark worked as a forceful stimulant for bringing alternative energy sources onto the agenda. The slogan "sun and wind" made it possible for the many people who were active in the movement against nuclear power to say not only "No", but also "Yes" to an alternative. Supported both by a part of the population and the media, experiments were made and experience was exchanged with a will during the latter half of the 1970’s. Around 1978 the first initiatives to a commercial production were taken, and in the following years a quite new, dependable concept with a distinct "Danish design" emerged. In 2003 wind power installations have passed 3,000 MW of total capacity including offshore wind installations of 420 MW capacity. The goal of the energy plan has more than been fulfilled as the national target originally was 1,500 MW by 2005.

Data and key figures

Population density (hab/km2)


Wind potential (rank among the fifteen members states)


Wind capacity installed in the end of 2003 (MW)

3 102

% of electricity from wind origin in the national consumption (%)


Average capacity of wind turbines in 2002 (kW)

1 200

Average time for planning procedures (years)

1 to 3

Wind energy's job creation (in 2003)

21 000

Spatial distribution map of wind turbines in DK in 2003

Feed-in tariffs:
This level was decreased to 0.43 DKK/kWh (5,7 €cent/kWh) for turbines bought after the 1st of January 2000, paid for the first 22,000 full-load hours. It was further decreased in the end of 2002 to the electricity market price + a bonus of up to 0,10 DKK/kWh (1,3 €cent/kWh). If the sum of the electricity market price and the bonus exceeds 0,36 DKK/kWh (4,8 €cent/kWh), the bonus will be reduced accordingly.
With a market price about 3 €cent/kWh, the price for wind turbines can be estimated to be:
-4.3 €cent/kWh for the first 20 years,
-3.0 €cent/kWh after 20 years

In addition, a special tariff applied to wind turbines replacing old wind turbines below 150 kW in the period 2000-2003. They could get additional 0.17 DKK/kWh during the first 12,000 full load hours for three times the capacity that they replaced if they replaced wind turbines below 100 kW and for two times the capacity if they replaced wind turbines 100-150 kW.


Ownership is no longer regulated but was regulated until June 2001 with a statuary order that limited investments to consumer cooperatives, landowners of the wind turbine sites, and power utilities.