By J. Matthew Roney
Denmark produced one third of its electricity from the wind in 2013. In no other country has wind’s share of annual electricity generation yet topped 30 percent. But the Danes are not stopping there—they are eyeing a goal of 50 percent wind by 2020, with most of the needed expansion coming from offshore wind farms. Recent experience shows that Denmark’s grid can accommodate this much wind power and more: wind-generated electricity exceeded 100 percent of demand the evening of November 3, 2013.
In Portugal, wind farms produced nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity in 2013. The situation was similar in neighboring Spain, where wind power accounted for 21 percent of electricity output, just shy of nuclear power, the leading source at 22 percent.
More than 17 percent of Ireland’s power generation in 2013 came from wind farms. Over the course of the year, the wind share frequently went above 50 percent, peaking at 59 percent on September 16th, according to grid operator EirGrid.
And in both Germany and the United Kingdom, countries with a combined population of 145 million, wind contribut... Read more