12 November 2008

100,000 Cars Running on Windpower in 2013

Beach People
The world's first offshore wind farm, at the head of Copenhagen harbour.
Denmark has long been a world-leader in wind energy and now the country will act as a laboratory for the development of infrastructure for electric cars, using wind power to charge the new vehicles.

The main reason is that in five years Denmark will have wind turbine capacity enough for 1 million homes. This goal will be reached when the world's largest offshore wind turbine farm opens in 2012, between Anholt and Djursland.
The Future is Offshore
The offshore farm will look like this new one off the coast of Copenhagen.
The colossal amounts of energy generated will also be used to power cars, in order to exploit the wind energy as best possible. The energy generated at night, when usage is low, will be used to charge the cars for use the next day.

The island of Bornholm will be the first test area and Peder Andersen of Energinet.dk believes there will be 100,000 electric cars in Denmark in five years.

It will be considerably cheaper to own an electric car. Among the test cars is an electric version of the Renault Megane with a top speed of 160 km/h. It will cost about 2 kroner for 8-10 km of driving. That's a third of the price for petrol [gas].

The first cars will be presented at the Global Climate Conference in 2009. A number of energy players are involved in the project, including Danish Oil & Natural Gas, Ens.dk and energinet.dk.

Not saying it's a good thing, more cars. Just reporting it.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a bicycle blog?

disgruntled said...

But will the electric cars have to have bells? It will make for an interestingly quiet city...

Colibri said...

In regards to resources, I do not think it will be easier to run cars on electricity than on oil.
Non-renewable electricity is as scarce as the primary fuel burnt in the power plant. And it ain't cleaner than this fuel -- just that you don't see fumes going out of the socket at home... In terms of efficiency, it might even be much lower, except if you do cogeneration as they do a lot in Denmark if I'm not mistaken.
As for renewable, I think that's a fantasy to think that hundreds of millions of car will be able to run on energy from wind, solar, etc.
Electric trains, trolleys, metros, etc are good users of electricity (no "polluting" batteries, less storage losses, regenerative breaking, etc). But cars as a technology requiring 1 ton of metal to move 70 kg of "payload" is so out of date...
And yeah, by the way, let's go back to the bicycle subject, your blog is very enlightening!

Adrienne said...

Let's make everyone happy and say the wind energy can power a million electric bicycles.

Anonymous said...

wow. way to ugly up the horizon line. i'm all for clean energy but couldn't they put them a bit farther out? the ocean belongs to everyone and installations like this permanently mar the view. when i go to the sea i want to see the sea, not a bunch of turbines. even if they are of an "elegant scandinavian design."

WestfieldWanderers said...

Definitely not in favour of battery cars for the reasons already stated.

Plus: the issues associated with the manufacture and disposal of batteries containing lots of nasty stuff. Automotive batteries are very expensive, too, with a working life of only a year or two. A small li-on pack for an electric bike can cost several hundred pounds. Ok, maybe this will improve as technology advances, but the fact still remains that, as colibri said, a tonne, or more, given the weight of the batteries, to move a 70kg payload is just so last century. And the things will still be as dangerous as an infernal corruption engined car mainly due to the Stone Age technology behind the steering wheel.

So, young Mikael, back to the bikes, please. Especially the ones with tall, willowy Nordic blondes on board...

Oh... that's the other blog, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

If an electric car runs you over, are you still dead?

The sun and wind used to be free, now they are commodities to be exploited and sold to consumers. Really kind of sad in a way.

Anonymous said...

In depth analysis of zap, Check out page 190. Brought t o you by MDB http://www.mdb.com/greenreport.pdf

Zakkaliciousness said...

i understand many of the comments. i am myself concerned about the massive battery problem with electric bikes and cars. it's an environmental timebomb waiting to happen.

cars, however, are not going to disappear. it's a hopeless hippie pipe dream to think that they will. so if there are better ways to make them run that don't pollute, then it's a good thing, no?

Colibri said...

Indeed, cars may not disappear but their number could be "contained" and even reduced. And much important, they could run a lot less miles individually. In that case only, renewable energy could play a significant role.

As a bicyclist, I welcome any technology that can stop cars from throwing noxious exhaust fumes right into my lungs when I'm making a physical effort. So, yes, electric/hybrid motors can be useful :-)

amsterdamize said...

I actually agree with John Howard Kunstler that cars (as 'personalized transportation mode) will eventually be impossible to maintain. A 'shocking' realization or something to imagine to many, but if you consider the finite character of the (current) resources in question (including the fuel for the entire industrial infrastructure), it's just not going to fly. Electric/Hydro/whatever cars will just be a phase, while the world is forced to rethink how it shapes its habitat of life/work.

Mark in Santa Barbara said...

A couple of comments:

1. The quietness of the streets due to fewer gas engines would be great! When I visited Amsterdam, it was delightful to hear the tinkle of glasses and conversational tones, not muffled exhaust.

2. Batteries are going to have to be much better for electric vehicles to really be viable. Around here, you see some people on electric bikes, but not for long as the batteries begin to lose their ability to hold a charge. Then they wind up collecting dust in the garage.

3. I think the observation that using a ton of metal to move 150 pounds of human being is spot on -it is an absurd concept and cannot be sustained.

tina said...

re. Anonymous@19:25 – In the Bay Area (California) there's actually a commercial running these days about high-interest bank accounts, where the narrator says something like, "is it OK for the wind to just blow, for the sun to just shine? NO. This is America. We put em to work." Images of wind turbines and solar cells. I suppose the makers of that commercial meant to be seen as forward-thinking, promoting so-called "alternative energy ..." but I'm with you – framing the concept that way is depressing.

WestfieldWanderers said...

Like electric vehicles, internal combustion vehicles, or rather the mass ownership of such, should be regarded as an evolutionary dead end as far as personal transport is concerned. Sadly, it's a 100 year long dead end. It's going to be a long way back!

Anonymous said...

Zakkaliciousness, you assume that private motor vehicles bring value to society in excess of the costs. Many people are questioning this assumption everyday and answering no.

Hopeless Hippie with a pipe

WestfieldWanderers said...

Hopeless Hippie with a pipe:

You're right. There was a report published about 15 years ago by Eric Martlew, I think it was (I can't find any references to it now). The report found that, in Britain, at least, that the total revenue from motor and road fuel taxation covered just 27% of the cost of motoring to the taxpayer. This included things like the costs of the deaths, the cost of treating injuries by the state health care system, damage to buildings and so on.

In his book "The Great Railway Conspiracy" David Henshaw calculated that the theoretical tax revenue per-mile generated by traffic using a stretch of 6 lane motorway was insufficient to cover even the interest on the cost of building that motorway even if all six lanes carried traffic travelling at 60 mph for 24 hours a day.

Zakkaliciousness said...

oh for heaven's sake.

i don't 'assume' anything. we all agree that the world would be better off without cars.

cars, however, will not disappear anytime soon. as much as i dislike that fact, it remains a fact.

living here in copenhagen, i see that there are alternatives. 36% on bikes each day. 35% on public transport. the rest in cars.

anything is possible. but no matter how enlightened we all are, no matter how many facts and stats we can pull out of our hats, cars will remain a part of our societies for generations to come.

WestfieldWanderers said...

Something I said, Mikael?

I agree with you.

Like I did say - it's going to be a long way back.

WestfieldWanderers said...

Re: my last comment but one -
not Eric Martlew, but Mayer Hillman

amsterdamize said...

of course I meant to say James Howard Kunstler. Tsk, tsk.

Adrienne Johnson said...

What ever happened to 'everything in moderation'? Balance, my friends, is the answer. Is my car so bad if I only drive it when my bike is not feasible? Am I a better person if I bike everywhere and never own a car? If I keep my car in good shape, drive only when the non-car options are not possible and drive it until it has to be towed to the wrecker to be recycled can I get out of the hot seat? How about if I take two wheels off of my car?:)

Christopher Ray Miller said...

On with the windmill subthread again, I find it rather sad that people who object to windmills for destroying the beautiful natural view never seem to mind the beauty and peace of our countryside and indeed cities have been disfigured by those ubiquitous asphalt gashes we call roads with their noisy polluting automobile traffic. How windmills could be worse than that is beyond me, and so is the fact people have become so inured to such a greater evil...

Zakkaliciousness said...

people hated cars when they first made their appearance. i find it amusing to hear objections to wind turbines.

especially when they have been a part of the Danish landscape for decades and are the most aesthetic form of energy production, apart from hydro electricity. although i'll take a wind turbine over a massive dam anyday.

David Hembrow said...

Mark: having quieter cars is indeed rather a good thing.

There are a number of reasons why you found the cars quiet in the Netherlands. First of all, the Dutch have been researching quieter road surfaces since the early 1970s. They're on to their umpteenth generation of this, and it makes a huge difference to the noise from cars. From what I can tell, the only other country to take up this technology is... Denmark.

Also, speed limits tend to be low, which has a huge effect.

What's more, there are barriers erected to keep the noise away from people. You can see them here.

Westfieldwanderers: Eric Martlew was responsible for something else altogether. Something unmentionable here.

WestfieldWanderers said...

David:
Crikey!

http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/wiki/Martlew_bill

I'll get my coat...

Adrienne Johnson said...

Despite the fact that I am a reasonably intelligent woman, I could not resist this (sorry this has nothing to do with this topic)

today's word verification-

pennis.

I think it speaks for its self.
Sorry for the digression.