Denmark is leading the wind power race. And they’re doing a little too well. Denmark gets about 20% of its total electrical power from wind, and on more blustery days, that percentage can double, putting a strain on their electricity grids. And although this may not seem like a problem for us consumers, on a windy day the price of electricity can drop to zero, putting utility companies in a tough spot as they try to offload excess power.
To offset these loses, Dong Energy, a Danish utility company has found a way to utilize this excess wind power. The company, one of Northern Europe’s leading energy groups, has plans to build a nationwide system to charge electric cars with the surplus wind power. Partnering with a California-based company, a time-line has been put in place to have the infrastructure to support a country-wide electric car system by 2010.
Denmark has built stronger connections to nearby Germany, Sweden and Norway so it can sell excess electricity on windy days. When it blows in Denmark for example, Norway buy cheap power to supplement their own hydropower resources.
“We have to keep investing heavily in the grid to make sure we can transport the electricity from wind when and where it is most needed,” said Peter Jorgensen, vice president of the state-owned company that runs Denmark’s grid.