May 19: Danish windparks spotted
In a previous article we wondered where all the wind turbines are. We discovered a lot of them in the north of Jutland.
 
A park near Gottrup harbours 35 Vestas turbines in three and a halve lines of 2 kilometres long (it should have been 40 turbines to make it symmetrical) and 1.3 kilometres wide. A fascinating sight.
 

 
But also a puzzling one. The park delivers about 30 megawatts per square kilometre. So for replacing a gas fired plant of 600 mw, you'd need 20 km2. That's not counting the production factor (average power divided by nominal power), which is about 0,25 for land based turbines. So, you would need 80 km2 (nine by nine kilometres) to replace one gas fired station. Hmmm, that's not 'polluting' the horizon, that's more like occupying it.
 

 
Netherlands has about 28 power plants. If we were to replace 20 percent of them by wind (that's the actual Danish percentage of wind energy), we would replace six plants, needing an area of 480 km2. That sounds like a lot. But then again it's only 20 percent of the Flevoland province.
 
Despite the large share of wind energy, the wind turbines are not very dominant in the Danish landscape. That is probably because the country is about as big as the Netherlands, but its population is only a third (5.5 mln versus 16.7 mln inhabitants). Therefore it's electricity use is much less as well.
 
For the Netherlands, the only sensible way to substantially increase wind energy share is to go offshore.