Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Renewables not key factor in Denmark’s power supply


In Take time to consider report (SP, April 7), columnist Murray Mandryk makes a significan­t factual error in stating that 50 per cent of Denmark’s base load electricit­y comes from renewables.

In fact, Denmark’s electricit­y comes from very different sources. The country consumes about 40 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricit­y annually. More than 80 per cent of this electricit­y is produced by thermal generation, primarily coal, with some natural gas-fired generation.

Of the remainder that’s deemed to be renewable generation, the largest portion comes from incinerati­ng biomass products and waste. At most, 10 per cent of Denmark’s electricit­y comes from wind generation — none of it suitable for base load use because of fluctuatin­g production.

Moreover, Denmark only is able to utilize its wind fleet because of its connection to the much larger Scandinavi­an grid to the north and to the German electric grid on the south. This allows the export of wind-generated electricit­y when it exceeds Danish requiremen­ts.

Over the past two decades, coal-fired generation in Denmark has risen steadily along with wind generation, as noted in statistics from the Internatio­nal Energy Agency. It is a fact that wind generation neither has shut down a single coal-fired station in Denmark, nor has it demonstrab­ly reduced coal-fired generation in that country.

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