Wind energy has over the years become part of the Danish industrial DNA, we invented the modern windmill, we harbor the largest windmill producer in the world and the Government is very ambitious with their aim to transform our nation into being 100% fossil fuel free by 2050. If we look at the numbers, they show us that we are steadily moving in that direction. In 2012, when I opened the EWEA Annual Event wind turbines supplied 25% of the electricity in Denmark.
Today only three years later, at the opening of the world’s largest offshore windexhibition and conference, that figure has gone up to more than 39%. That’s a clear indication of how fast the wind industry and especially the offshore wind industry is moving these years.
With a background as a naval officer and an avid sailor, I have first hand experience of the fierce environment offshore. I therefore highly appreciate the solutions and products that the offshore wind industry is able to put forward. Developing and producing machinery that can withstand the hostile conditions offshore 24/7 for a quarter of a century is quite remarkable.
What started as a niche market here in Denmark less than 25 years ago, is now playing a leading role in several countries’ energy systems. The technology is contributing to Europe’s position as the region the rest of the world looks towards. Our technologies and industrial know-how can meet the political ambition of steering society in a truly more sustainable direction when it comes to energy supply.
In fact, offshore wind energy is the technology with the biggest potential in Europe. With the ever imminent threat of climate change, Europe calls for more homegrown renewable energy, more collaboration between nation states and more effort to prove the economic viability of the alternative to our fossil dependency.
In Denmark, we are proving that close public-private cooperation will generate strong industrial clusters with a unique ability to innovate and develop more effective and efficient wind turbines to harvest the wind. Currently the world’s largest and most powerful wind turbines are being tested in Denmark, both outdoor in full size and in some of the world’s most elaborate indoor testing facilities.
Research and development, test and demonstration as well as production in close proximity are important prerequisites to stay attractive for the players in the growing global wind market and to lay the ground for tomorrow’s wind energy solutions.
It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to Denmark and I hope that the EWEA OFFSHORE conference and exhibition will serve as inspiration in your endeavor for green and profitable offshore solutions.