One of the most impressive things about the Danish people is their commitment to the environment---and to being energy independent. Unlike the United States, Denmark is a net energy exporter. That means they produce enough energy to meet their own needs and have leftovers to sell to other nations.
Wouldn't that be nice?
Now, the Danes are lucky in that they've discovered oil off of their coast in the North Sea. This oil is one of the major reasons that they are able to be energy independent. But they've also embraced wind farms as a major energy source as well. In fact, wind energy provides almost 25% of Denmark's electricity today----and there are goals to raise that percentage to 50% in the next twenty years.
And the Danes take their wind farms seriously! Almost any where you go, you'll see turbines (which are really nothing like the old fashioned windmills that were used to grind grain) standing up on the horizon. They're pretty advanced pieces of equipment that turn themselves on when the wind is blowing fast enough and off when the wind blows too fast. They also turn automatically when the wind changes directions!
Want to learn more?
Then check out this collection of videos that I made when I visited a wind farm research center called the Risoe National Laboratory outside of Copenhagen:
This commitment to wind energy means that Denmark doesn't pollute when it is creating electricity. Wind energy is clean---unlike the coal that is used to generate most of the electricity in the United States.
But wind energy also means that there are wind turbines all over the countryside as well---and sometimes off the coast too! Do you think this is a good idea? Is being energy independent worth losing places to play? Would you want to deal with the noise of windfarms in your neighborhood?
Leave a comment to share your thinking and join us again soon here on Get Lost!
Bam Bam Bigelow
That picture is one of mine...Whaddya' think?