1 Department of Mathematics - Science Studies, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 Department of Mathematics - Science Studies, Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
How wind power use took hold in Denmark, 1970-90
Wind power was an important power source not only in the preindustrial era but also into the nineteenth and early twentieth century. In most regions by the mid twentieth century the ubiquitous windmill was quickly replaced by alternative power sources, mainly electricity. Efforts to revive wind power largely failed until the late 1970s. Denmark was the first country to develop reliable wind energy converters and successfully use wind power in the course of the 1970s and 80s. The reinvention of wind power use has been described as a remarkable success story. Wind technology development in Denmark proved more successful than heavily funded efforts in the USA, Sweden or Germany. Within few years, Danish wind turbines dominated California wind parks and outclassed the turbines from other producers. Since the 1980s, all successful wind turbine producers copied basic features of “Danish Design”. Danish wind power development is all the more surprising, as the innovation process in wind technology was carried to a large extent by non-academic craftsmen and political activists. Many features of this innovation story have been investigated and that research makes it possible to summarize the current understanding of the regime shift.