(EnviroNews World News) — The winds of change are blowing strong in Denmark as the shift to wind power enabled the Danes to create 97 gigawatts of electricity on Feb. 22, 2017. That’s enough to power 10 million European homes. During that same day, Europe generated 18.8 percent of its electricity from wind, with Germany coming in second and producing 52% of its own energy needs according to an EcoWatch report by Julia Travers.
This isn’t Denmark’s first win in the wind energy business. On July 10, 2015, Denmark generated 140 percent of the energy it needed. According to The Guardian, it was able to export the excess to Germany, Sweden and Norway. Germany and Norway used their hydroelectric systems to store what they didn’t need.
In 2015, Denmark also broke the world record for percentage of power generated with wind. Even with two of their wind farms offline, the country was able to make 42 percent of the energy it needed, according to The Guardian.
On December 1, 2016, Denmark set another world wind record with its massive 720-foot-tall V164-8.0 MW offshore turbine, when it produced “215,999.1 kWh over a 24 hour period” — the most ever created by a turbine in one day, and about “enough to power an average American household for twenty years,” according to Gizmodo. The massive beast wields 35-ton blades and sweeps a 227,380 square-foot area.
Other countries have also experienced some success with wind and other renewable energy sources. On May 16, 2016, according to Bloomberg, renewables supplied 45.5 gigawatts out of 45.8 gigawatts of demand in Germany.
In 2013, Uruguay supplied almost 95 percent of its energy needs from renewables. Even the United States has seen its wind power generating capacity surpass its hydroelectric sector’s total energy output, according to the New York Times.
Denmark has set its goal of renewable energy generation by 2020 at 50 percent of its nation’s need; by 2050 the country wants to meet 100 percent of its needs through renewables. The country’s wind farms are helping make those goals eminently attainable.
While dinosaur politicians continue to support the fossil fuel industry and claim that alternative energy cannot effectively power a nation, most news on renewable energy continues to focus on the “more advanced” western countries. However, places like Iceland, with its geothermal and hydroelectricity, are proving time and again that countries can run on renewables. The fact that a small country like Bhutan exports 75 percent of its renewable energy leaves many to wonder what a country the size of the U.S. could achieve on the global green energy market if it decided to take a leadership role, instead of remaining mired in the tar sands.
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