Disrupting Networks from Below
Edited by Tineke M. Egyedi and Donna C. Mehos
Chapter 7: The Role of Policy in Inverse Developments: Comparing Dutch and Danish Wind Energy
Linda M. Kamp INTRODUCTION In the 1970s, after the oil crisis and the Club of Rome report (Meadows et al. 1972), several Western countries began to develop renewable energy programs. The renewable energy source that raised the highest expectations among many policy makers was wind power. The Netherlands and Denmark have comparable wind speeds, and the governments of these two countries actively supported the development of wind energy technologies. However, the results of their wind energy developments differ greatly. In the year 2000, Denmark had a flourishing wind turbine industry which produced wind turbines for the world market. In that year, the cumulative installed capacity of wind turbines in Denmark was 2,340 MW and wind turbines produced 15% of the country’s electricity demand. In contrast, although 10 to 15 wind turbine manufacturers were active on the Dutch market at the beginning of the 1980s, in 2000 only one remained. At the end of 2000, only 442 MW of wind turbine capacity had been installed in the Netherlands, the target for the year 2000 having been 2,000 MW. In this chapter, I investigate the simultaneous and contrasting developments of wind power in the Netherlands and in Denmark in the period 1970-2000. The first development follows a classic development line; the second a bottom-up inverse development. In the Netherlands, wind power developed under centralized control, a top-down process driven by researchers and policy makers. In Denmark, a bottom-up process driven by networks of small wind turbine producing companies and wind...
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