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Porträtt Katinka Johansen. Foto: Emma Lord.

Katinka Johansen


Porträtt Katinka Johansen. Foto: Emma Lord.

Blowing in the wind : A brief history of wind energy and wind power technologies in Denmark


  • Katinka Johansen

Summary, in English

This paper explores the history of wind power technologies and the integration of wind energy in the Danish energy system. It does so focusing particularly on historical events, socio-cultural and socio-political changes and priorities that were important on this technological journey. From the first primitive wind turbines in the late 1800s, to the world wars, through the energy- crisis in the 70s, and into the decades of growing environmental awareness and concern, this historical account describes how policy priorities in Denmark gradually translated from the focus on energy diversification, energy efficiency and energy independence to the focus on sustainability and renewable energy resources, with wind energy and wind power technologies at the top of the priority list. Historically, wind power has been - and it still is - popular in Denmark. However, as the modern wind power turbines gradually grew to industrial scale heights, unchallenged support for specific local wind farms could no longer be taken for granted. This paper also touches upon the frequently tacit dilemmas of renewable energy technology planning and deployment, for example issues of environmental justice, wind farm ownership structures, and the role of social psychology for low-carbon energy transition processes. Notably, attention is drawn to the representation biases that may result in the emphasis of wind farm opposition / grievances in the wider wind farm related debates, where resistance to local wind farm projects might derive from minority opposition groups. Insights and lessons learnt from this Danish history of wind power may prove valuable and inspirational for other countries engaging in low-carbon energy transitions.


  • Sociologiska institutionen






Energy Policy




Artikel i tidskrift




  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • History of Technology
  • Energy Systems


  • Energy history
  • Energy transitions
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy technologies
  • Energy policy




  • ISSN: 0301-4215