Speeches 40 years

This is the full version of the speech. Limited time meant exclusion of certain parts when giving the speech

Preben Maegaard - Tale Tvindkraft 40årWe are in the middle of the 1970’s: The choice is nuclear power or wind energy.

By Preben Maegaard; Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy
First I would like to say congratulations with the 40 years. It is many years for a wind turbine, especially one which was built in the childhood of modern wind turbines. At the time we knew little about wind turbines. It was knowledge that had to be acquired.
We have just heard some extremely interesting speeches from participants in the windmill team, who presented information about Tvindkraft I haven’t come across before. I have written several articles about this big windmill and how it was created in books and other publications. Now I start to doubt what is right and what is wrong.
This is because the persons who have first-hand knowledge about building the windmill have never published any coherent information about the important experiences they made 40 years ago. So here in the introduction to my speech I would like to take the opportunity to encourage you to get together and write down as much as possible before it is too late.
But let us look back on 1974. There was an energy crisis, cars were not running on Sundays, in modest homes people sit close in a single room, as heating the whole house is now expensive. This becomes a turning point in the Danish energy policy which came to influence several sections of the society.
At a later stage we can see that what happened in Denmark also got a global perspective. The Tvind Wind Turbine plays an important part in this development. How important, is not really measurable. But Tvind plays a decisive role for the fact that our country gets a wind power industry and says no to nuclear power. I will return to this fact.
First some history. As mentioned before, we are in the winter of 1974. Minister of Trade and Energy, Erling Jensen, appears on TV every Saturday evening. The Danes are told to save oil, which covers almost 100 % of our country’s energy consumption of electricity, heating, production and all kinds of mobility. This is oil which is imported from the politically instable Middle East – in itself a totally irresponsible thing to do when speaking of supply security. And even worse, oil had become extremely more expensive.
Already during that winter the first plans of windmills appear. As yet, OVE, the Organization for Renewable Energy, Risoe’s Test Station, a Danish Natural Gas grid, and all the rest, which in the years to come will dominate newspaper headlines are non-existent. But already in 1974 the frontlines are drawn: Windmills versus nuclear power.
On February 28th, 1974 the daily paper Berlingske Tidende describes a large windmill project, which will dominate the debate for the rest of the year. The company F.L. Smidth & Co. has been granted a state loan of 100.000 DKK for analyzing whether windmills can be developed that are economically worthwhile.
It is no co-incidence that the State points to FLS. Already during the war years in 1942-45 F.L. Smidth, the large company who makes cement and cement machinery, had already constructed advanced aero motors, and now new attempts are going to be made analyzing and constructing windmills based on the most recent technology. The company also invests their own money in the project and is contacted by many people who are interested in wind power.
But on the same day in 1974 two debaters of societal matters present their criticism: Inventor Karl Kroejer, the one known from his so-called “Anders And balls”, brazenly announces that “Windmills are shear madness. It is unreal thinking.” “ For just a few per cent of our country’s electricity consumption to be covered by windmills, we would need so many that we wouldn’t be able to see the land for steel frames with spinning wings”, is the vision of this inventor.
Neither does Steen Danoe, manager of Thrige-Titan, the then heavy weight within electrical machinery, envision a future in windmills. His expectations to the future are quite different: “We shall not just produce electricity to cover increasingly higher consumption. This is no thinkable solution. We must start thinking anew, looking at how we can use the raw materials in better ways”. Thus ideas about resource management and low growth have sneaked into the debate about the wind turbines.
In September 1974, which is not 1975, the year we are celebrating today, the first result from F.L. Smidth is presented. This is done by manager Jean Fischer, who worked with wind power long before the energy crisis. He presents a model of a 130 tall elegant concrete column with six built in Darrieus rotors. This is a wind turbine with a whisk, a construction that has always been the object of fascination. The turbine is unbelievably large, 1200 kW, and is predicted to become a tourist attraction. 500 such turbines placed in a 300 km long row along the west coast of Jutland can replace a nuclear power plant. 3
But again Steen Danoe’s voice is one of skepticism: “The danger of a romantic view of wind power is that in 25 years’ time we shall have to live on energy from wind turbines and other funny projects, which means no electricity for industry”. CEO Danoe warns us against the wind turbine plans and suggests that a nuclear power plant be built on the island of Funen. “We need to get cracking and produce cheap electricity. The excess heat can be used for heating the many green houses in Funen”, is his opinion.
Jean Fischer continues to fight for large scale wind power. At a conference in Stockholm, which also includes Americans, and where he demonstrates his model, he gets supports form Professor Niels I. Meyer, then chancellor at Danmarks Tekniske Højskole (Denmark’s Technical University, since 1993 DTU) and president of Akademiet for de tekniske Videnskaber (The Academy of the Technical Sciences). Niels I. Meyer says, (quote) “We cannot afford to disregard any source of energy which we can control ourselves. Therefore Jean Fischer’s technology will naturally have to be tested thoroughly in practice along with other types of windmills. Where systems appear to be promising, they will have to undergo further work”, Meyer says. Wise words. Wind power should not be blown away with the wind.
But skeptics become increasingly vocal. Just after professor Ulrik Krabbe, DTH, in a conference in Copenhagen had given an enthusiastic presentation of the recent windmill plans in Tvind, engineer Mogens Johansson from DEFU, which is the research department of the electricity companies, made it clear that wind power would only be able to play a very minor role. Building up to the year of 2000, he thought wind power might be an auxiliary energy source, but only cover a few per cent of the total energy consumption at an investment of billions of DKK. Let me here add the fact that last year, in 2014, 40 % af our electricity production came from wind turbines which goes to show that even the highest placed researches can get the facts totally wrong.

Thus the note was struck for the electricity companies’ view of wind powers. A divide was appearing in Denmark between supporters and opposing forces; it was the centralist hardliners against the soft energy paths.
To be said in fairness ELSAM’s powerful CEO, E.L. Jacobsen, thinks that “the electricity companies would like to engage in the task of developing wind energy; but the result has to be electricity at the right price”, he says. All things said he views nuclear power as the most realistic alternative.
Naturally windmills, which were a new, untested technology, could not compete with other electricity at the time. The electricity companies appear positive because energy spokesman for the Social Democrats, Erik Holst, wants them to do something. ”The electricity companies must become involved, not the least for the sake of their own reputation. They have a moral obligation to bank on a solution which is not nuclear power”, says Erik Holst, who is backed up by Radical Hilmar Baunsgaard, former Prime Minister.
But they are up against powerful interests, the consumer owned electricity companies, whose CEOs are increasingly deciding which direction to take. The electricity companies are appearing as a state within the state. Energy spokesman for the Danish liberal party, Venstre, Ove Guldberg, also joins the debate: “When large industrial companies can’t make wind power commercial, electrical companies should not be burdened with such tasks. In the end it will be the consumers who will have to pay”, is Guldberg’s opinion. And that is it. Not till Svend Auken 20 years later definitively puts a stop to building coal fired power plants, do the electricity companies realize that they have to invest in wind turbines not to be left too far behind.
Then in July 1975 comes the report from the Wind Energy Board, ordered by Akademiet for de tekniske Videnskaber, ATV, headed by Niels I. Meyer. The report concludes that 5 % of Denmark’s electricity consumption can be met by 250 large wind turbines placed at the West Coast. Pay-back time is 15 years. In addition wind power will be able to play a role in local district heating.
At farms and remote houses it will also be possible to put up 200.000 of what we today call household windmills. I don’t believe Danmarks Naturfredningsforening (Denmark’s Nature Conservation Association) or municipal planners were on that board. In that case it would have said 2.000 rather than 200.000, which by and large are all properties in rural areas. Making each house self-sufficient with its own windmill must have been the object. A truly visionary object.
The report also points out the positive effects on the balance of payment, employment, dependence from other countries, resources, pollution and inflation. The recommendation is to undertake research and development within wind power.
This is a report that looks ahead into the future. Let me just call your attention to the fact that according to the European Commission 58.000 people are employed in the Danish Energy Industry, half of them in wind power. The export has a value of 60 billion DKK, which is a strong contribution to our society. No other country is so active within renewable energy. Which is also something we celebrate today! Even in the longest march someone has to take the first step. In this place (Tvind) they took a very long one.
Even though the report point to an interesting, new and large business area for a resourceful company such as F.L. Smidth, they will have had their reasons to defitively end their engagement in wind power presently. Basically it was unwise and unprofessional since at the time Denmark had no vested interests within coal, oil and uranium. But FLS quits.
That is why it was quite different, barely heard of, companies in Jutland, Vestas, Nordtank, Bonus and 15 others that finally reaped the fruits from a new industrial billion kroner sector. On the other hand many large, old industrial companies disappeared in the dark.
When F.L. Smidth calls it quits, many Danes feel that no one else has the strength to promote wind power. “But we cannot solve this task alone”, said manager Benned Hansen from this large industrial company, which in 1942 had managed successfully in just nine months to develop a modern wind turbine, the renowned Aero motors, from scratch.
F.L. Smidth was also not interested in state funding if to continue working with their plans, but generously placed their accumulated knowledge at the disposal should the state take an interest in wind power, said Benned Hansen.
But something was more powerful than FLS. The windmills had a symbolic value which was more powerful than anyone had any inkling about. Throughout centuries the Danes had become familiar with windmills as a source of energy. Especially during crises, they turned to wind power.

 125 years ago at the birth of the co-operative movement every third farm had a windmill, and they thus became synonymous with the re-organization of agriculture. During the Second World Wrad windmills made sure that there was light in many homes.
Once again, windmills were going to secure the survival of the Danish Nation. The population reasoned that fossil fuels, especial oil, were unreliable, and also nuclear power created dependence, and in addition there was the placement of hazardous waste, which the experts had no reliable solution to.
With the energy crisis in the 1970s, faith in progress was shattered forever. Where the interest in windmills during previous windmill epochs disappeared as soon as the wars were over, the resource and environment problems had arrived not to disappear again.
It was a crisis with no end; the industrial era with its unbridled consumption of coal and oil could not last forever. Transition to renewable energy was the only responsible solution in the long run. This was the message from the people who were looking into the future. And that was what popular logic said. 6
In local communities plans continued to be underfoot. One of the known project from 1974 was to heat Tunoe, a small island community, with wind power. An island is a manageable entity and people have to unite about the basics.
To engineer Hans Joergen Lundgaard Laursen, local black smith, Thomas Noergaard and later on researcher Frede Hvelplund it was a challenge  to convince the population of Tunoe to accept the idea. The smithy, traditionally the assembly point of the village, realizes that there is local skepsis, which is understandable, he thinks. Things have to be done in the right way. “Why tell people that if we are to have windmills they have to be placed in a long row along the west coast of Jutland. Then nobody will want windmills.” concludes Thomas Noergaard.
Hvelplund and Lundgaard Laursen wrote a report which called for much attention. They described the first commonly owned windmill project in Denmark based on a large windmill. To Hvelplund this was the start of many years’ research into the economy and politics of renewable energy, while engineer Lundgaard Laursen was called to Tvind to give engineering assistance to the ambitious windmill project of the schools. Here they had the money and the wish to embark upon a task for which the more cautious islanders on the small islands were not yet ready.
The Tunoe project was presented to the Danish Folketing. Several politicians had seen the perspective of supplying island communities with renewable energy. Only they ignored the fact that there were not as yet functional windmills, especially not of the size suited to Tunoe.
One of the political friends of wind power at the time was social democrat member of the Danish Folketing, Mogens Camre. With great courage he presented the details of some solar and wind projects which on their way through the funding boards had suffered bureaucratic death.
Only later it was revealed that the projects in question were a wind power project presented by a well known industrialist, manager Th. Myhre, from Aarhus, who had applied for funds for highly efficient windmill wings and a new type of electrical generator with variable revolutions. Which had been turned down. According to Camre the funding boards lost courage, (quote): “it is no good to encourage these projects too far, which would confuse the politicians so they would fail to decide building nuclear power plants”.
Camre had his finger on the pulse: None of the international energy companies, nor the electricity companies had any interest in people making themselves self-sufficient in energy. Camre found it a shocking example of the decay of our democratic governing system that “our energy policy is being determined by technocrats who directly or indirectly ar personally economilally dependent on Denmark building nuclear power plants. We politicians are becomeing enslaved by a technical and economic development controlled by multinational profit interests, and which even have the means to influence the population through propaganda and advertisement,”, was Camre’s words.

Dear audience. Enter the demagogues of nuclear power. Thus in 1975 the daily paper “Boersen”, said that now is the time for the population to realize that nuclear power equals welfare. According to former liberal minister, Ove Guldberg “The windmill profets cannot be distinguished from the people who try to undermine and hamper the necessary decisions in the labour market and in the educational system everywhere.” Thus Guldberg had labeled the economists, professors and technicians who worked for wind power.
Hereafter it is obvious that large, respectable companies could not come out in the open with plans of developing and marketing windmills. Loaning institutions, business connections, even employees, would think that the company was engaging in energy politics and gambling with its future. In such a nuclear infected company climate lies the explanation why that a company such as F.L. Smidth had to limit themselves to deliver the cement for the foundations for the more than 6000 wind turbines that were consequently built.
This is where Tvind enters the stage together with countless others who experimented with windmills all over the land. Tvindkraft was not alone. Wind energy had become political energy whether you looked upon yourself as a producer of windmills or a customer.
But Tvindkraft was simply so much bigger that other projects. So it was the people who had to create the modern windmill from bottom up. The trade, development, production and operation of windmills had to be learned first right from scratch by people possessed by their faith belief in the new technology.
They had to acquire basic knowledge of aero dynamics, technology and controls, make mistakes, gain experience and often leave their private economies in ruins. But all the time others took over; experiences were not wasted, the development built on what worked best while negative results were left behind since they did not work anyway. So there is whole cavalcade of developers, inventors and producers who each make a contribution to what within five years become a genuine, mature industry, which was to become the leading one in the world concerning size and strength within its field.
There is every reason to ask the question: Why should this technological innovation have to come from below, from the population? Where were the repeatedly celebrated free researchers with the enormous research and development capacity found in Universities and many kinds of institutions?
In all fairness the population can expect from the various corners of the world of research that tasks and questions of elementary importance are dealt with, including the questions that limited energy resources will logically run out at some point in time, and that therefore there is every reason to research their alternatives. Was it possible that before 1985 so-called free research could see nothing but nuclear power which close to 1.000 highly educated persons worked with Atomenergikommissionens Forsoegsanlæg Risoe, the name of the our country’s biggest research institute.
 In addition there was a faculty for nuclear technology at DTU, whereas renewable energy wsa the ugly duckling which researches with very few exceptions stayed clear of for many years.
The fact is that without customers there will be no producers, and customers there were for the new energy technologies even though the products were wind turbines of a design and a quality which few people would dream of buying today.
But people’s urge to be self-sufficient with clean energy in their homes was strong, while we Danes also wanted to show the Arabian Sheiks who was going to supply our energy. The wind rushing over our heads was our own. Then it did not matter that the windmill looked a bit awkward and was lacking in technical perfection compared to other blessings of other gadgets of everyday life such as cars, pleasure yachts and other stuff surrounding the population on a daily basis.
The Tvind Windmill has become legend. This is cause for celebration. It is the realization of an idea at the  Tvind Schools. Her teachers and students designed and built their own power plant for their own school on the 1970. The story is a simple as this. No governmental board, councils or grants were involved. This, of course, is quite unique in a totally regulated country where the smallest case starts the paper mill. In Tvind there was a wish for the windmill to play an important political part in the fight against nuclear power.
It very much did so; soon 80 % of the population was against nuclear power, and then it does not matter in a democratic society that 80 % of the Folketing and the whole establishment were in favour. The will of the people carried the day and in 1985 Poul Schlüter, the then Prime Minister, shredded all plans of nuclear power in this country and did away with the site reservations for twelve nuclear power plants. And so it has stayed ever since while renewable energy has marched forward.
But that the Tvind Windmill also technically was of invaluable importance only appeared later. The windmill was built for the sake of natural energy, for a human society – against monopolization within the energy sector and against nuclear power.
Let me add this: Renewable energy is also a peace project. Numerous wars and crises can be traced back to the striving for control with the limited, fossil energy resources. ON the other hand, the sun and the wind belong to all people on Earth and cannot be possessed by even the biggest money bag or war lord.
From the beginning the project in Tvind was considered a crazy and foolhardy experiment by many. It must not be possible for laymen to invent and build anything this big, this different from the general state of affairs.
When several hundreds of people cut the first sod the 29th of May 1975, there was a general opinion that the project was impossible. National newspapers had leading experts say that the large test windmill would simply topple in the first strong wind.
This did not happen. Before 10 years had passed Risoe would no longer do research in nuclear energy. When the Tvind Windmill turned 30, the Barsebäck nuclear power plant had been closed down for good while the large windmill in Western Jutland was still there producing electricity; you might say in lone majesty, as all other large, ambitious test windmills in this country and abroad from that time were gone. This is a special reason for remembering and recounting the story of the Tvind Windmill. Again and again.
During this period Denmark had as our windmill flagships the Nibe windmills and later on the Esbjerg windmill. In the USA Boeing, General Dynamics and Westinghouse participated in the development of windmills, in Germany it was a large company such as M.A.N. and leading.
The Tvind Windmill had a maximum budget of 6 million Danish kroner, as I remember it. In the many publicly funded projects billions were invested. The Germans alone had a budget for a single turbine of 400 mio. Danish kroner. Its name was Growian, (Grosse Windkraft Anlage). When it had run for 200 hours, it was demolished. Similar stories can be told about the Swedish giant windmills, Maglearp and Näsudden and many similar large, expensive projects.
Here it was professionals for universities and the industry who developed the constructions and managed the work, accompanied by great public attention with flashy publications and international conferences where programmes and knowledge was presented and exchanged. Tvindkraft on the contrary, was ignored in those circles.
The technological impact from these costly, public development projects on the later windmill industry is minimal. In general the experiences were so discouraging and the technology so complicated and expensive that wind had hardly come to play the decisive role is does today in the transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear power, had it not been for a Danish parallel development arising from the bottom up.
There is a general consensus that the cradle of wind power can be found in Denmark. Throughout the past century utilizing the wind has been turned into practical reality by personalities such as Poul la Cour and Johannes Juul. This has become recorded History, whereas there has been widespread reluctance in energy professional environments concerning the significance of the Tvind Windmill and the many other smaller windmill projects of 20 to 30 KW turbines which laid the foundation for the modern wind turbine industry.
The Tvind windmill incorporates a high number of technical solutions that went straight into the windmill industry of the 1980. Only with the two books I am holding here in my hands, and which a research editing company i Singapore ask me to edit three years ago (and I am not a vocational historian) in the 1970’s, regarding the technology and the circle of people behind the wind energy of our era, and where Tvind plays a very important role.
Even though wind power today employs over 800.000 people globally, it is curious that industrial historians have not found it worth the trouble to research the roots of this industry, which are really strong in this place where we are assembled today. This is how strong the contamination, or should we call it the religious war between nuclear power and renewable energy is: it penetrates deeply into the academic circles!

Here at the 40th anniversary of the Tvind Windmill we can establish the fact that until the mid-90s is was far more advanced technically than the wind turbines delivered by the Danish wind industry, which has always described itself as being the most advanced in the world. From around 1976 they had an asynchronous generator, fixed wings and stall-regulation, which was the inheritance from Johannes Juul. It was robust but rather primitive technology.
However, if you take a look at the last 20 years’ innovation within wind power it is more a match with the technological mix which Tvind launched already 40 years ago and also made work. It worked long term in several ways: It did not break, and the technology was transferable to other windmill projects. It was a huge achievement, for which there is also a very good reason for celebration today.
Thus the Tvind Turbine was born with pitchable blades, which later has become standard in all big windmill. Secondly, like conventional power plans it has an synchronous generator, which is common in wind turbines today. The asynchronous generator was dominating for 20 years, because in this way it was easy to control revolutions and effect. But unmanageable winds pose quite different demands to the control system in windmills with a synchronous generator. But also this problem found an early solution in the Tvind Wind Turbine which was far ahead of its time.
So was Tvindkraft’s way of dealing with the phenomenon of excess power. This arises when there is a powerful wind and the wind turbines produce more electricity that needed. Then windmills are stopped or the clean energy is sold abroad at prices next to nothing. This is very wrong. In Tvind an early solution was found, what we today call power-to-heat, a very obvious way of handling a surplus of electricity: Use it for heating. That is how simple it is.
By far the most important finger print left on the following windmill development, however, is Tvind’s significance for the development of the modern composite blades. This is true of both the aero-dynamic shape,the structural construction, and the fact that an independent wing production is given a helping hand.
Within a few years more than twenty Danish companies can establish themselves as windmill producers because they can but the necessary component, control systems, towers, and especially the blades from specialized suppliers. If blades were available the companies could solve the rest. And the wings were made available by the Tvind Windmill.
In the daily paper ”Information” March 22nd,1976, Amdi Petersen from Vestjysk Energikontor in Tvind, described his vision within industrial policy. He said: “Our next task is developing some concrete models. F. inst. we could make moulds in which people can have their blades made. Typically the wings are the biggest problem. So we will very soon tackle that.” Quote continued.. ”This is in the very spirit of the wind. It cannot be monopolized. We would also like the use of the wind not to be so. In this way no one needs to hold back. Just come ..... all experiences will benefit others”. This is what it said in “Information”. And they were as good as their words.
Elsewhere I have said that precisely for this innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit, should the trade association long since have paid tribute to Amdi Petersen, giving him a prize in appreciation of the thousands of work places and new industries he paved the way for, and perhaps even a decoration for services given by the Queen? Many others would have received it for a similar achievement. It is still not too late!
At that time in 1976 the tower had been completed and they were ready to take up the real challenges: the blades and the nacelle. Amdi Petersen insisted that a particular wing solution be used, and so it was. It appeared that amidst high flying plans and paroles there was a recognition of and respect for relevant research. Compared to the researches in other contemporary windmill projects the people in Tvind were humble to the truly highly demanding challenge designing and constructing a large windmill is. Many others have broken their backs in the attempt to do it.
The wing solution was German, developed and tested in praxis in windmills and helicopters by professor Ulrich Hütter from the Deutsche Luft- und Raumfahrt institute at the Technical University in Stuttgart. Hütter’s construction with fibre glass strands wrapped around the hub bolts solved a traditionally weak point, which is the connection between wings and hub.
Detailed information about Ulrich Hütter’s trailblazing research and experiences together with that of  other pioneers from that period was to be found in a report, ”New Sources of Energy”, from a conference held by the UN in Rom in 1956. This was before the advent of cheap oil made it superfluous to do research in all other energy types.
But the Windmill Team did not limit themselves to reading reports. They went to Stuttgart to meet up with the real expertise.
In addition to the big windmill, the technology was used on the small 22 kW PTG windmill from Tvind, whose wing mould was made available for do-it-yourself builders. It was Erik Grove-Nielsen, whose brother Johannes was an important man in the Windmill Team, who with his Oekjaer wing turned the experiences from Tvind into industrial production.
From him Vestas, Bonus, Nordtank and many others were soon able to buy wings for their turbines. Also Alois Wobben from German Enercon, later the biggest German windmill producer, used them. But it was Tvind who introduced the technology in Denmark. Tvind got important assistance from Helge Petersen, Per Lundsager og Peter Steen Andersen fra Risø for the wing development, and from professor Ulrik Krabbe from Danmarks Tekniske Hoejskole for the development of the control system. But looking back one cannot credit leading national laboratories for the fact that the Tvind Windmill became a success. 13
The reason for this is that the experts of the time preferred quite different wing concepts than Tvind’s when the governmental projects, the Nibe turbines, DWT 15 and 265 KW turbines, and later on the Esbjerg turbine of 2 MW were designed. None of these constructions – contrary to the Tvind Windmill – lead to the “victorious” concept and thus to an industrial product.
Neither did large, foreign powerful companies and esteemed institutes well equipped with researchers and hundreds of millions af Danish kroner for research and development find a sustainable concept.
This must be known to the adepts but not acknowledged. Also technology is prone to prejudice and Tvind’s ideologies seem to bar fairness. However, speaking of technological visions and innovation decisive steps were taken in Tvind in those years.
The windmill builders from Western Jutland acknowledged that they knew nothing about wind energy. This gave them the courage and strength to go out into the world to seek and involve labourers and experts with experience. Together with the Windmill Team they were to lift Tvind’s project. In a manner of speaking a better role than the one played by the experts involved with the large Danish and foreign public test windmills, who had never tried to design a large wind turbine.
A contributing factor might also be that in Tvind the build was finance with own money, and that there were huge expectations from within and without; a natural consequence of being vociferous about The Tvind Windmill being the very reason why the public should reject nuclear power, which was the Danish establishment’s only solution for a future Danish energy supply.
With its openness the Tvind Turbine worked on the same ideological basis as the pioneers of the Danish co-op movement in the end of the. When the first Danish law of patents was passed in 1895 the made sure is stipulated that agricultural processes and technologies could not be patented. Inventions were not to gild the individual person, but to be at the disposal of the People.
Poul la Cour, in particular, turned this production philosophy into reality. He was no Bill Gates. At the Tvind Windmill and the Danish energy movement during that period a similar attitude to the use of new knowledge has been of decisive importance for the industrialization of wind power during those years. The most importance knowledge for designs and constructions was immediately available and not barred by patents. This fact is happily ignored when the modern windmill history is told. 14
In an analysis of Denmark’s position as global leader within the production of wind turbines the Tvind Windmill cannot be ignored. Just the fact that Tvind generously invested in the development of both a very large and a smaller windmill in the 1970’s was of huge technical as well as symbolic importance for the development of windmills.
100.000 people visited Tvindkraft during the build. They talked to the windmill builders and got answers to their questions about windmills and the energy supply of the future. They also saw for themselves that the Tvind people were innovative and courageous, which inspired many others to start working with wind power, which for a number of years became a popular movement with the Tvind Windmill as an important irrefutable argument in the energy debate.
When people at a school with their own and rather limited means and using existing knowledge and materials could produce a large windmill and with the power of the wind make their own electricity, there was no reason at all to contemplate nuclear power. This was a forceful argument for the people and it won the day.
The victory is Danish and of supreme international importance.
This is a part of speeches I gave yesterday and the day before yesterday at conferences in Kiev and Istanbul respectively, two countries that are still planning more nuclear power plants.
• 2011-2014: In each year globally as much new, renewable energy capacity is installed (100GW), as Brazil’s electricity capacity, a country with 200 million inhabitants
• During the period mentioned above more renewable energy capacity has been installed annually than fossil and nuclear power plants combined. This is a historical turning point.
• At the present moment investments in renewable energy exceed those in conventional energy types.
• In 2013 China installed more solar and wind capacity than fossil and nuclear power combined.
• Photovoltaic solar power and land based wind power (not offshore) is now half the price of NEW nuclear power per kW!

This was some good news here in 2015 on a march that started 40 years ago.

In the program for the celebration arrangement you can read that I am also supposed to say something about the role of wind in the energy transition of the future. That is a vast issue for me to start on at the end of my speech.
We can establish as a fact that there are no longer any technological barriers keeping us from taking the big leap into a fossil and nuclear free future. Speaking about this country our immediate need is to democratize the field of energy. To me democratization means that everyone in any area involved must be able to reap the fruits of the turbines that are put up, not just a few persons with money.
Several hundred large wind turbines must be installed during the coming years and they can be of endless financial benefit for remote areas which are suffering from depopulation and general decay. The solution is not demolition of dilapidated buildings. This is simplification of a serious societal issue. New income and thus new activities have to be created. The new wind turbines can do by introducing a principle of 100 % local, non-profit ownership. In the town of Hvide Sande they have show the way how it is possible. Let this be a model for new legislation in this field; then hundreds of local communities in out skirt areas will blossom.
Larst year the Energy Board calculated the cost of wind power from a large turbine to be only 30 Danish oere pr. kilowatt hour; with an acceptance bonus for the local community of just 10 oere, each turbine will be able to create local renewal and initiatives for 1,5 million kroner every year. Thus, putting up windmills that will be natural elements in the landscape, will be in demand.
Also, Denmark must show the way demonstrating that renewable energy supplies are cheap. This means that more turbines must be placed on land and fewer at sea. Offshore turbines are and will remain two or three times more expensive than land based wind power. If off-shore had not become the monopoly of dominating energy companies – they are skilled at lobbying and influencing politicians and the state – we would see much more land based wind power.
One may marvel that where the tune has always been that renewable energy is too expensive, it is suddenly no problem that the price of off-shore is double up just because it is beneficial for the income of the big energy companies and the struggle for market shares.
Unfortunately, land based turbines have become objects of investment and speculation. Also, quite random property owners are scoring really big, selling sites for wind turbines. Here we must introduce legislation about expropriation, as is the case in other fields in the name of the common good. In this way windmill sites might easily become 95 % cheaper.
There are strong organizations within wind power who work for the interests of site owners and investors. I see this big social unbalance as the main reason why people in local communities are protesting vehemently against big new windmills. I find that quite understandable. So here is a fight to be fought.
New infra-structures including harbours, roads, railways etc has always meant development and new work places. The population has always welcomed changes to their neighbourhood when the cons were bigger than the pros. This is how it must be with wind turbines in the future.
The energy of the future needs to be more than green. People don’t like it when houses and whole villages are bought and flattened to the ground to make way for wind turbines put up by outside investors. That is why many projects that could have been of great financial benefit to a local community, are shelved.
The population are know very well that we must make the transition to renewable energy, but it has to happen in a way which is socially acceptable to the local community in question. In that case wind turbines will again be welcomed. Right here in Tvind we see a splendid example of a large turbine being integrated with housing and daily activities.

Here at the end I definitely have to mention this:
The Schools in Tvind received the European Solar Prize in 2008.
Since 1994 EUROSOLAR, The European Organization for Renewable Energy, have awarded the European Solar Prize. I have had the privilege of being on the committee for giving the prize through all the years, and thus once a year learnt about many of the most important energy projects in Europe. This work was immensely enriching for me.
The prize is given to local communities, companies, organizations and individuals who have accomplished an extraordinarily remarkably achievement within the development, use and promotion of renewable energy. The European Solar Prizes, which hare divided into a number of categories, have for a number of years been awarded by EUROSOLAR in cooperation with the governmental KfW bank group. The Solar prize for 2008 was handed out at a festive arrangement in Berlin on December 3rd, 2008 in KfW’s representaion hall (which, by the way, used to house DDR’s main financial bank).
The prizes are given within different project categories and to all types of renewable energy, where an outstanding effort has been made. The prize for the Tvind Schools was awarded within the category ”Education”.
The following is a translation of EUROSOLAR’s estimate for awarding the prize:
”In 1975, in the middle of the oil crisis years of the 1970s, when the energy supply of the future was up for discussion, the Danish Tvind Schools embarked on the project of building a 2 MW wind turbine. Students and volunteers from a number of countries came to Tvind, to help teachers and students at the school construct ”Tvindkraft”, the windmill. In 1978, after 3 years of building, it went into production.
The goal of the project was to show that wind power was an alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy. The idea was also to supply the schools in Tvind with cheap, clean and renewable energy. The windmill build was financed and developed with own forces and was the cause of a debate about use of nuclear energy in Denmark.
At the time „Tvindkraft” was the biggest windmill in the world. It is still running with all the original parts except for wings and wing bearings that had to be replaced. Various experts had advisory functions during the windmill build, but essentially it was built relying on own forces. In this way the windmill build was not just a valuable experience, but the participants also enjoyed a considerable educational effect. Only because of the innovative and courageous work of the Tvind School was it possible to realize the “Tvindkraft” turbine: a groundbreaking project in Denmark’s wind energy sector.
Those were my words.
I thank you for your attention and offer my sincere congratulations with the Tvind Windmill to all of us.
I may not have to, because probably you can’t bear not to, but at the very end I would like to ask Allan and Britta and their good helpers, just as you have done it through the past decades, also during the coming 10 years to take good care of the red and white icon out there. Then we will come back for the 50the anniversary as well, God willing. We can be sure that the windmill will survive; it and its legend are immortal.
Thank you for today!

I have written articles about the Tvind Windmill in several publications and would like to point to the following:
1. Maegaard P, Palz W, Krenz A (2013) "The Rise of Modern Wind Energy. Wind Power for the World.”, Vol. I – II, 1380 pages, Pan Stanford, Singapore, 2013
2. Vedvarende Energi I Danmark. En krønike om 25 opvækstår 1975-2000, OVEs Forlag, Aarhus, 2000
3. KAPITLER AF VINDKRAFTENS HISTORIE I DANMARK, 5. årgang, ”Tvindmøllen viste vej”, Energimuseet, Poul la Cour Museet, Nordisk Folkecenter for Vedvarende Energi, Danmarks Vindkrafthistoriske Samling, marts 2009
4. Maegaard P (2012) "Integrated Systems to Reduce Global Warming" in "Handbook of Climate Mitigation", Springer Science, New York, 2012 (new edition with an expanded chapter are scheduled for publication in 2015)
5. Maegaard P (2013) “Wind Energy requires broad local acceptance”, Solarzeitalter, EUROSOLAR, Bonn, 2013
6. Se også www.maegaard.net