Too Much Renewable Energy in Denmark?

James Kanter reports on plans by Danish government to generate half the nation’s power from wind within eight years, and whether too much of a good thing, in this case, may lead to failure.
January 24, 2012, 9am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Kanter looks at the country's existing wind power generation (currently less than 25% of the country's electricity sources) and recent capacity related issues, and sees a potential recipe for disaster.

The technology and infrastructure does not currently exist in Denmark to support such a shift and "a major concern is that the supply of electricity might exceed demand for about 1,000 hours each year by 2020 unless there are substantial changes in the way electricity is managed in Denmark, Mr. [Jens Moller] Birkebaek, [a vice president at] said."

Where Anders Eldrup, the chief executive of the biggest Danish power utility, sees the opportunity to wean the country off coal plants within 20 years, Kanter sees, "the risks of expanding the reliance on renewable sources like wind before necessary grids, storage and other technologies are established to handle their intermittency and volatility."

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Published on Sunday, January 22, 2012 in The New York Times
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