March 20, 2015 / 5:25 PM / in 4 years

Boosting Denmark wind power will require more links -operator

OSLO, March 20 (Reuters) - Expanding wind power further in Denmark will required establishing more international links to help handle the volatility in supply from turbines, transmission system operator Energinet.dk said on Friday.

Wind power accounted for 39 percent of Denmark’s total consumption in 2014, a new world record, and the government wants to increase that to 50 percent by 2020 as it seeks to reduce output from coal.

But adding more wind turbines means increasing the system’s volatility. Last year, hourly wind power output in Denmark fluctuated from zero to 132 percent of total consumption.

“We have incorporated 40 percent wind power in the existing power system, but we must create a brand new energy system, and integrating the next 20-30 percent will be much harder,” said Peder Ostermark Andreasen, chief executive of Energinet.dk.

One of Europe’s wind power pioneers, Denmark has been able to balance output from wind turbines using interconnections to Norway, Sweden and Germany.

“This is becoming more challenging as neighbouring countries are also adding more wind power,” Andreasen told Reuters.

The cross-border transmission capacity between Denmark and Germany is restricted when there is strong wind in both countries to protect their grids from overloading.

“In the future, we will need... to build more links, including to the Netherlands and Britain,” Andreasen said.

Denmark had 4,845 MW of installed wind power capacity at end-2014 compared to Germany’s 39,165 MW and Sweden’s 5,425 MW, European Wind Energy Association data showed.

By 2020, northern Germany alone is expected to have almost five times as much wind energy as the whole of Denmark, Energinet.dk said.

Denmark neighbour Norway, which generates almost all of its electricity from hydropower, is also looking for investors to boost installed wind power capacity. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Jason Neely)

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