|May 14: So, where are they?
Entering Denmark from Germany, we expected to be surrounded by windturbines, just as we were in Germany. Or even more. Instead, they were spectacularly missing.
We checked our info and, yes, Denmark can be called the wind state with 19,7 percent of it's electricity coming from windturbines.
The Danes got their head start in wind by an early commitment to renewable energy and reducing CO2 emissions before anyone else bothered in the 1980's. They committed themselves to 22 percent CO2 emissions reduction by 2005 compared to 1988.
Besides, in 1988, two years after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, a Danish law was passed forbidding the construction of nuclear plants in Denmark. So far, there isn't any yet.
Instead, a large windturbine industry has developed in Denmark with Vestas as its flagship. The company accounts for 20 thousand jobs wordwide and 4 percent of Danish economy (3 billion euro turnover per year). 90 Percent of the produced turbines are for export and vice-versa 40 percent of all turbines sold wordwide are of Danish origin.
So, yes definitely, Denmark is wind state number one. It has 3 thousand megawatts installed power of which 13 percent (423 megawatt) offshore in six parks: Nysted (165 mw), Horns Rve (160 mw), Sams? (23 mw), Middelgrunden (40 mw), Tun? Knob (5 mw) and Vindeby (5 mw).
Up to last year, it was champion in offshore wind, but that was before the UK added a new park and set a new national record of 590 megawatts offshore.
So, where are the turbines in Jutland. Okay, we missed Horns Rev, which is located near Esbjerg. It's fourteen to twenty kilometres out the coast, so chances are slim we would have seen anything, but we missed it. We won't be passing any offshore parks on our way north.
The sad truth is that the south of Jutland lags a bit behind in wind energy. Not in wind, as we can tell you from first hand experience. Every other region of Denmark, they say, is covered by turbines. Except, by an irony of fate, along our route.
Meanwhile, the credit crisis has reached Vestas as well. The company reports a fallback in orders of 15 percent and consequently sacked 1.800 people worldwide, of which 650 in Denmark.