Denmark has a problem with their wind turbines. Apparently its generating too much power from wind.
Right now, they are generating about 20% of their total electricity from wind power and on windy days that percentage can double which has placed some strain on the electricity grid due to extreme fluctuations. In western Denmark, the price of electricity can sometimes drop to 0 on a windy day which leaves utilities trying to find ways to offload the excess power. What a “good” problem to have!
To come to the rescue, the Danish utility company Dong Energy has an ingenious plan to build a nationwide system to charge electric cars with the surplus wind power. They are partnering with the start-up company, Project Better Place and plan to build the infrastructure to support the countrywide electric car system by 2010. Charging spot and battery-exchange services would be located across the country.
The Danish government plans to raise its share of electricity from renewable powers to 30 percent by 2025. In addition, Denmark is looking to built stronger connections with nearby countries like , Sweden and Germany to sell excess “cheap” electricity on windy days.
“Cars are the perfect match for wind power,” said Shai Agassi, chief executive of Better, which is rolling out a similar network in Israel and has a deal with Renault and Nissan to build fully electric mass-market cars that run on lithium-ion batteries. “They charge sitting in the garage at night when there is little other demand for electricity.”In addition to revamping old plants, Denmark has built stronger connections to nearby Germany, Sweden and Norway so it can sell excess electricity on windy days. When it is windy in Denmark, countries like Norway buy cheap power to supplement their own hydropower resources. On very windy days about half of wind power is exported to Norway and Sweden, where many homes are heated with electricity.
“We have to keep investing heavily in the grid to make sure we can transport the electricity from wind when and where it is most needed,” said Peter Jorgensen, vice president at Energinet.dk, the nonprofit, state-owned company that runs Denmark’s grid.