Clean, green and absolutely necessary

The renaissance of wind power is in many respects reminiscent of H. C. Anders’s fairytale about the ugly duckling who grows to become a beautiful swan. It is a modern adventure tale which has only just begun, given the manifold possibilities and great future potential of wind power in the efforts to meet global energy needs.

Windmills have been part of our cultural landscape for centuries. In Denmark, wind power used to be viewed as a smaller-scale alternative to conventional power sources; the idea that it might one day account for fifty percent of the country’s energy needs seemed utopian. Nonetheless, wind power accounts for twenty percent of Denmark’s energy production in 2009, and is expected to reach fifty percent by 2025 with the help of 1,500-2,000 extremely large wind turbines.

Wind power is thus developing from an alternative energy supply into Denmark’s principal source of energy. According to author of The nature of wind power, architect Frode Birk Nielsen, the big challenge will be to find the most suitable geographical localities and optimum landscape locations for wind power plants:

“This book examines the ways in which the wind is currently being exploited as a source of power, and sketches out the possible directions for future development. In this way, I hope to show that wind power is a valuable and powerful resource which makes an efficient contribution towards our energy needs. Wind power is a resource which is undergoing rapid development, and we have not yet seen its full potential, but all the indications are that wind power will continue to blossom and grow in the years to come.

By their very nature, wind turbines are dominating structures, visible at great distances. Through careful planning and design of the individual wind plant sites, the goal is to create a dynamic interplay between the turbines and the landscape, thereby promoting mutual emphasis and enrichment. As a landscape architect, I am convinced that this task can be overcome in a positive manner, resulting in characteristic and meaningful wind power plants. The examples in this book provide the visible proof that it can be done.”