Updated: Jun 1, 2020
Denmark has reportedly set a wind record of 47% of its energy sourced from wind, based on preliminary numbers from 2019.
Denmark has been a leader in wind energy for the past few years. In 2017, it set a previous world record, sourcing 43% of its energy from wind and meeting 100% of its electricity needs from wind for one day. In 2018, 41%.
Europe as a whole is a leader in renewable technologies. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), the European Union sourced 14% of its total energy from wind in 2018. Furthermore, the industry group WindEurope reported that Denmark’s closest rival for wind generation, Ireland, only got 28% of its energy from wind power.
Denmark’s 7-point boost in electricity is in part due to cost reduction and offshore wind technology. Vattenfall, an Denmark offshore wind operation in the North Sea, started last year. In all, Denmark got 18% of its total energy from offshore wind last year, up 28% from the 14% total in 2018. Onshore wind accounted for the remaining 29% of energy last year.
In comparison, offshore wind only accounts for 0.3% of global electric production. However, capacity is set to increase 15-fold over the next twenty years, helped in part due to targets the world is setting and individual countries like Denmark rising to the challenge. Wind is not always the solution; Denmark has naturally windy conditions and began investing in wind in the early 1970's. But in other countries, other solutions are possible. Countries with a lot of desert can invest in solar technology or be helped to do so by wealthier countries. Countries that have a lot of transportation emissions can focus on electric cars and efficient technologies.
Gronholt-Pedersen, Jacob. “Denmark Sources Record 47% of Power from Wind in 2019.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, January 2, 2020.