Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wind Blows Away Fossil Power in the Nordics, the Baltics Next

Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt inaugurates the country's biggest offshore wind power farm near the island of Anholt September 4, 2013. (Credit: Reuters/Henning Bagger/Scanpix Denmark) Click to enlarge.
Wind power is blowing gas and coal-fired turbines out of business in the Nordic countries, and the effects will be felt across the Baltic region as the renewable glut erodes utility margins for thermal power stations.

Fossil power plants in Finland and Denmark act as swing-producers, helping to meet demand when hydropower production in Norway and Sweden falls due to dry weather.

The arrival of wind power on a large scale has made this role less relevant and has pushed electricity prices down, eroding profitability of fossil power stations.

Denmark and Finland have about 11,000 MW of coal, gas and oil-fired generating capacities, Reuters estimate shows.
Pushing fossil-fueled power stations out of the Nordic generation park is part of government plans across the region.

Denmark wants to phase all coal use in power generation by 2030 and to generate all power and heat from renewables by 2035.

Wind power is expected to meet half consumption in Denmark by 2020, up from 33.4 percent in 2013.

In neighboring Sweden, wind meets about 8 percent of total consumption, and installed capacity has more than doubled to about 5,000 MW in 2014 from 2010.  Its wind power association predicts the capacity to rise to some 7,000 MW by 2017.

In Norway, the government has pledged to change tax rules to catch up with Sweden.

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