Denmark set a goal to build up a capacity of 200 MW in solar power by 2020. Even though this clearly was an ambitious for a country of this size, it turns out that the goal is already reached – eight years before planned.
Denmark is not a country where there`s an abundance of sun. The weather is often shifting, and it can be raining every day for weeks at a time. On the other hand, the government has incentivized the development of solar power and other technologies that harness renewable sources of energy. This is what has been driving the growth in the renewable sector in Denmark.
The country put in place a net metering system in 2010. This allows homeowners to be credited for excess power generated from their renewable energy systems. In the case of residential solar panels, the surplus is sent to the utility power grid, “spinning the power meter backwards” – instead of storing the electricity chemically in batteries, which would be much more expensive.
“Denmark benefits from a strong design tradition and this also characterizes the Danish solar sector in which aesthetics and thinking ahead of user needs is a central part of product development […] This means that solar solutions are more likely to meet consumers’ demands.” said Kim Schultz, from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. .
Solar is not the only are where Denmark seems to be thriving. They`ve also set the goal to supply 50% of the country`s electricity demand with solar power by 2020 – they`re already halfway meeting this goal. By 2050 all electricity will be sourced from renewable energy.
How big will solar power be in Denmark by 2020? At current rates, the country should pass the 1 GW threshold – five times more than 200 MW. But who knows? Maybe more unexpected growth will push this number much higher.
About the author: Mathias is an Environmental Engineer who writes about solar panels and other green techs at his blog Energy Informative. You can contact Mathias at mathias(dot)ppc(at)gmail(dot)com.