Stardust on the West Coast
Renewable energy now covers over half the energy consumption among citizens and businesses in the municipality of Ringkøbing- Skjern. The company Plan Energy has prepared an estimate of the municipality. Ringkøbing Skjern has a goal of being 100 percent self-sufficient in renewable energy by the end of 2020.
- Yes, now we just need the difficult half, says Henning Donslund, head of secretariat for renewable energy in Ringkøbing- Skjern, to Magazine Danish Energy.
The ambitious 2020 target was adopted by a unanimous City Council in 2008. In recent years, erection of several wind turbines has taken place and several CHP plants have invested in solar energy, there are solar cells in a series of rooftops, and we have gained considerable energy savings.
The result attracts international attention, and we have succeeded by local effort to lure the former Vice President of the United States and current environmental advocate Al Gore to Ringkøbing- Skjern Cultur Centre on October 27, 2014. On the program is also the former head of UN weapons inspectors, Hans Blix, who has promised to analyze the tense energy security policy situation in Ukraine and Europe. It therefore becomes foreign affairs, which meets reality in one of the pioneer communities where strong winds often blow. Resources are fully exploited:
- We're moving especially on wind, we've got Denmark’s largest onshore wind farm, says Henning Donslund thinking of the park Nørhede to Hjortmose, consisting of 22 unit’s 3,3MW turbines.
Henning Donslund estimates that biogas is one of the tools that can push the municipality the next step up towards 100 percent. Bioenergy West, primarily owned by Ringkøbing- Skjern Supply is currently planning three biogas plants - linked together in a new biogas grid – in the southern area of the municipality. In addition, plans for biogas in Viftrup in collaboration with Spjald Fjernvarmeværk.
At national level, the focus is on better utilization of wind energy. This debate also takes place in West Jutland:
- We have embarked on a strategic energy planning, where we are looking at an increased local - and flexible - use of electricity. In our future biogas system will also focus on opportunities to build in flexibility. We make heavy investments in the transition to renewable energy, so it is important that we have analyzed whether the direction is right, and we do so now and then, Henning Donslund says.
Besides focusing on the production of energy, the municipality and its many partners also look at the consumption side. One of the goals is to energy renovate 1,000 private houses. According to Henning Donslund, an agreement with husetsenergi.dk, to energy renovate 100 houses have been "a great success" and has resulted in savings of at least 4,000 kWh per property.
- Now we have the same focus on two villages - Lyne and Sdr Vium. The goal is that they become 100 percent self-sufficient, says Henning Donslund.