We have had some discussion about the amount of wind power being generated in Denmark, which hit 41% of total electricity in 2014. Denmark is often held up by proponents of wind power to prove that large amounts are both feasible and can be easily integrated into national grid systems.
It is therefore worth putting the figures into perspective.
The first thing to notice is just how small the Danish generation figures actually are, in comparison with the UK and Germany. For instance, output from wind in Denmark was 13.2 TWh, compared to 31.6 TWh in the UK
It is immediately apparent from these figures that Danish wind output can easily be absorbed into the German grid. In addition, a lot of Denmark’s electricity is exported to Scandinavia, where it can be used for pump storage.
And on the reverse side, it is not a problem for Denmark to import the small amounts of power it needs from Germany and Scandinavia, when the wind stops blowing.
The Danish example is in fact comparable to the situation in Scotland, where wind power accounts for 24%. Again we see that the amount of wind power generated in Scotland is dwarfed by total demand in the rest of the UK, where any surplus can easily be sent.
Just because a high proportion of wind power can be managed on a small scale, and as part of a much bigger grid system, does not mean it could be at the UK level.