Blowing in the wind: A brief history of wind energy and wind power technologies in Denmark

Katinka Johansen

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper explores the history of wind power technologies and the integration of wind energy in the Danish energy system. From the first primitive wind turbines in the late 1800s, to the world wars, through the energy-crisis in the 70s, and into the decades of growing environmental awareness and concern, this historical account describes how policy priorities in Denmark gradually translated from the focus on energy diversification, energy efficiency and energy independence to the focus on sustainability and renewable energy resources, with wind energy and wind power technologies at the top of the priority list. As the modern wind power turbines grew to industrial scale heights, support for specific wind farms could no longer be taken for granted. This paper also touches upon the frequently tacit dilemmas of renewable energy technology planning and deployment, issues of environmental justice, wind farm ownership
structures, and the role of social psychology for low-carbon energy transition processes. Attention is drawn to the emphasis of wind farm opposition / grievances in wider wind farm related debates. Insights and lessons learnt from this Danish history of wind power may prove valuable and inspirational for other countries engaging in low-carbon energy transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112139
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Energy history
  • Energy policy
  • Energy technologies
  • Energy transitions
  • Renewable energy


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