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Denmark leads the way for wind energy and a sustainable future

Written by Sigrid Carstairs
22/01/18 - 16:26

Being the home to some of the worlds largest wind energy companies (Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Orsted A/S), it should come as no surprise that Denmark has once again set a world record, with the largest percentage of it's energy production last year originating from wind energy (43,4%). And they are not about to slow down any time soon. The Danish government aims to derive 50% of all it's energy consumption from renewable energy sources by the year 2030. Now, I'm no mathematician (to be honest I'm far from it), but is seems they are pretty much on target to achieve this.

The massive investments that we have seen in renewable energy across the Nordic countries is now paying off, and on Tuesday night this week the Nordic region set a new record when it comes to the production of energy from renewable sources. This week, wind power produced 12.1 GW in total across the Nordic region. (To put this in context, it is according to vindkraftsnyheter.se more than all nuclear power in the Nordic regions can produce per hour). Not bad.

And that's not it. Denmark is seeing large investments projected in renewables, with Vattenfall Wind planning to add more than 20% to Danish wind capacity over the next 5 years, investing more than 2,6 billion euro in Denmarks transition to become fully powered by renewable energy (afp.com). This makes Swedish Vattenfall the largest developer of wind power in Denmark (look out Orsted and Vestas)!

However, there are concerns regarding the market.

According to the Danish Energy Minister, Lars Chr. Lilleholt, the price of energy is moving in a downward spiral in Denmark (bloomberg.com), and the generation of energy has exceeded the market demand at this point, which can cause problems similar to those we have seen on the German market recently, and the downturn in growth the Swedish market experienced a few years back (and now seems to be coming back from). The problem when the electricity price is to low is that it scares off investors, which slows down the development of new wind farms. And this is not something that any of us in the industry (or who cares about the environment) want's to see.

However, Denmark seems confident in the continued development of wind power across the nation, and according to Lilleholt, he is confident wind will no longer need state support in the form of subsidiaries (bloomberg.com). And with Vestas forecasting to up it's cash flow in the year to 31 December of between €1.15bln and €1.25bln, up from previous guidance of between €450m and €900m, the prognosis sure looks promising. As Orsted moves away from their oil & gas background to become fully renewable, and MHI Vestas growing at a steady pace, I am confident Denmark will continue to hold its place as world leader of wind energy for a long time to come, and as the industry grows, the need for more qualified people in the industry will increase.

So, if you are looking to recruit, and need help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on +46 40 668 80 66, or by sending an email to sigrid.carstairs@cathcartenergy.com.

The same goes if you are looking for a new role in the renewable energy sector in Denmark, or across Scandinavia.

Sigrid Carstairs
Renewable Energy Consultant
Cathcart Associates Energy