Denmark proves green power pays.Byline: Bob Doppelt For The Register-Guard
Many people believe big cuts in climate-damaging carbon emissions can't be made without financial ruin. A recent trip to Denmark showed me otherwise. The country is filled with examples of people coming together, slashing slash·ing
1. Bitingly critical or satiric: slashing wit.
2. Dashing; pelting: a slashing hailstorm.
3. emissions and benefiting the economy.
My first glimpse First Glimpse is a monthly consumer electronics magazine published by Sandhills Publishing Company in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. The magazine was known as CE Lifestyles before a name change in early 2006. of this were the wind turbines I saw fanning out across the land as my plane descended into Copenhagen. Power-generating turbines are just about everywhere in Denmark. In fact, a huge turbine turbine, rotary engine that uses a continuous stream of fluid (gas or liquid) to turn a shaft that can drive machinery.
A water, or hydraulic, turbine is used to drive electric generators in hydroelectric power stations. made by Vestas - the same company that is trying to set up shop in Portland - spins away at the Bella Center The Bella Center is a congress and exhibition center in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is located in Ørestad, next to the metro station named after the center. See also
It's true that Denmark is blessed with ample wind. It's also a relatively small country. But other nations with good wind have failed to do what Denmark has done. Today an estimated 20 percent of Denmark's electricity comes from wind.
Denmark has also dramatically cut energy use. At the science congress, Connie Hedagaard, Denmark's minister of climate and energy, told participants that the Danish economy grew more than 75 percent over the past decades with almost no increase in energy use, while emissions declined by nearly 14 percent.
The keys, she said, were behavioral behavioral
pertaining to behavior.
see psychomotor seizure. changes in the way people use energy, greater use of existing super-efficient technologies and a carbon tax.
Although Denmark's climate plan is still a work in progress, Hedagaard summed up by stating, "We have proven in clear, cold numbers that green growth can provide businesses and jobs while also solving climate change."
A remarkable example of Hedaggard's claim is the Danish island of Samso. About 10 years ago, the 4,000-plus people of Samso accepted a challenge from the Danish government to become energy self-sufficient, using only renewables. They met and exceeded that goal.
Island residents used the government's challenge to reinvent re·in·vent
tr.v. re·in·vent·ed, re·in·vent·ing, re·in·vents
1. To make over completely: "She reinvented Indian cooking to fit a Western kitchen and a Western larder" themselves. Soren Hermansen, one of the leaders of the efforts, told me, "We started by analyzing every possible energy source on the island. A master plan was then produced, with a detailed budget, describing what would happen year by year.
"We then met and met" for two years with residents, Hermansen said, "We had to demonstrate to the people that the plan was economically sound. We met with bankers and helped them see that the turbines would pay for themselves. They provided the financing. We met with businesses and helped them see the advantages. We involved everybody." After the first wind turbines were constructed and proved economically viable, "the plan really took off."
Every resident on the island now uses electricity produced by wind turbines, and 75 percent of their heat is generated by solar thermal panels or combined heat and power plants powered by agricultural waste. As a result, Samso has cut its carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. emissions by 142 percent. This odd number - a reduction of more than 100 percent - is possible because the excess kilowatts produced by Samso's turbines are sold to the mainland.
The shift to renewables has been an economic boon Boon
A general term that refers to a benefit or improvement for investors. This can include such things as increased dividends, a stock market rally and stock buybacks.
Notes: to Samso. Construction and maintenance jobs were created. Rather than private companies owning the wind turbines, cooperatives own them. Families get electricity from the turbines they own, and the co-ops generate a steady revenue stream by selling wind power to others. Most of Samso's turbines and about 75 percent of those in Denmark are now owned by co-ops. The co-op model has spread to Germany and the Netherlands as well.
"The next project after the turbines was district heating District heating (less commonly called teleheating) is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location for residential and commercial heating requirements. ," Hermanson told me. They developed a plan to provide heat to homes and businesses using agricultural waste straw straw, dried stalks of threshed grains, especially wheat, barley, oats, and rye. It has been used from antiquity for bedding, covering floors, and thatching roofs, as fodder and litter for animals, and in weaving such articles as mats, screens, baskets, ornaments and and showed that it could be done cheaper than oil. Efficiency and conservation were key elements of the plan.
"We needed to cut heating demand to provide everyone with district heating," Hermanson said. "So, we had people go house to house assessing ways to improve efficiency. We cut heating by about 20 percent this way, and everyone saved quite a lot of money to boot."
They did the same thing with electrical use. "We showed people how to use more efficient light bulbs, buy more efficient refrigerators, and install better windows," he said.
I asked Hermanson, who now runs the Energy Academy in Samso, for his suggestions for people in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. who want to pursue a similar dream.
"Involve everyone," he said. "People have a desire to do something. Leaders need to see the big picture and be innovative. Make a master plan for the whole township township: see town. . Show it's viable and sell it to bankers. Help everyone see the potential for their families and their businesses."
Whether your community is small or large, rural or urban, those seem like wise words for Oregonians.
Bob Doppelt is director of resource innovations at the University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. and also directs the UO's Climate Leadership Initiative.