Danish Wind Industry Hopes for Turnaround with New Policies

The wind energy market in Denmark expects to recover from a bad year in 2001.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, BE, 2001-11-26 [SolarAccess.com] The World Wind Energy Association welcomes the decision of the Danish government to postpone or abolish the introduction of the green certificate system. The anticipated action is supported by several renewable energy associations in the country. The Danish wind energy market has “collapsed,” according to WWEA president Preben Maegaard. Six hundred megawatts of new capacity was installed last year, based on orders made with guaranteed minimum prices. This year, new installations dropped to 18 MW during the first half of the year, which he blames on the 1999 decision to abolish the guaranteed price system and to introduce a certificate trade system. “With more than 2,500 MW of wind power, Denmark proportionally has more than any other nation and been the example for the rest of the world,” says Maegaard. “Denmark has also demonstrated leadership within manufacturing of windmills covering over 50 percent of the demand world-wide.” The new government framework was never implemented, he explains, and has been criticized for not providing sufficient investor security. More than 80 percent (1,144 MW) of the 1,388 MW installed around the world in the first half of this year were installed in three countries with guaranteed minimum prices: Germany, Italy and Spain. In countries with quota/certificate systems, including Denmark, Britain, the United States and the Netherlands, only 75 MW were installed during that time. Denmark has more than half of the global wind industry, and could manufacture the 75 MW within weeks, and he says the country must “face economic realities and the importance of large scale markets.” France and Brazil have decided to introduce minimum price systems which recognize the success of this framework, and “only realistic and proven solutions as demonstrated in more and more countries can guarantee the Danish domestic wind energy industry’s leadership and future growth.” “Only a Danish wind industry with a strong domestic market can in the long term fulfil its essential key role in the worldwide dissemination of wind energy,” says Maegaard. WWEA encourages the Danish government to abandon its plans for a certificate or quota system, to discourage other countries from pursuing similar tariff models. “The return of Denmark to the most efficient and effective promotion system for renewable energies would be an important signal for the global dissemination of wind energy,” he adds. WWEA was formed to promote the global dissemination of wind energy as a cornerstone of a future world energy system that is driven by renewable energies. The association is organizing the first World Wind Energy Conference in Berlin in 2002.
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