By Nick,

Last year, we reported on the impressive feat of Germany managing to source 50% of its electricity needs purely from solar: here and here. This was due to a period of sunny weather combined with the closure of several nuclear power plants following the Fukushima crisis. Now Denmark has succeeding in generating more than 120% of its energy needs from Wind Power, achieving this feet on November the 4th. This too was a combination of some windy weather and the opening of Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm in early september.

Denmark's wind power generation over 100% of consumption.
Denmark’s wind power generation over 100% of consumption on November the 3rd.

What’s interesting here is that the country continued to import energy from Germany. This is because northern Germany also has a large wind farms, and so was producing a fair amount of electricity itself. Because the border infrastructure is better than that heading south, Germany supplied their excess power to Denmark, who passed it on the Sweden, Norway (and back to Germany), rather than use it to power more of Germany. It highlights the importance of improving the electricity grid in order to transport excess energy away from producing centres and towards areas of demand.

While this happier state of affairs is only occurring occasionally, it still brings hope that renewables can help provide a large portion of our energy needs, provided decent infrastructure and/or storage capabilities are also being invested in. The good infrastructural connection with Norway (lots of Hydro) suggests that we may well be on our way.

You can watch the current state of play here.


Update: Passing the 100% barrier seems to be a regular occurrence, there are news reports saying the same thing happened overnight in March too, and came close in October.