Denmark is held up as one of the great success stories when it comes to wind power – and it is. Half of Denmark’s electricity consumption will be generated by wind power in just seven years time. But Denmark has other lessons for those interested in wind power. It illustrates how effective – or ineffective – government support for renewable energy can be.
At one stage, wind power in Denmark was a genuinely popular movement. Around 3,000 community organizations with 150,000 shareholders operated wind turbines there. Then the government changed the law. They got rid of feed-in tariffs and replaced them with renewable portfolio standards (mandates requiring utilities to purchase renewable energy) and top-ups when renewable electricity was sold on the market.
The result: the market stalled, people started decommissioning their wind turbines in large numbers. People like feed-in tariffs and they will invest in renewables if they are there. Here’s an infographic that illustrates the story.