Saturday

21st Oct 2017

Focus

Energy democracy: New Danish wind firm rattles industry

  • In Denmark private households can now easily switch to wind-energy only (Photo: Steve Wilson)

Morten Nissen Nielsen, a young entrepreneur from Denmark, is well underway to establish himself as a thorn in the side of traditional energy companies. He sells wind energy to households at a lower price than what people pay for regular energy. He began operations on 1 January and has been overrun by clients ever since.

"In two weeks time, we have reached what we expected to reach in three months," he says, without wanting to divulge the exact number of his clients.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

His company, Vindstoed, has agreements with owners of some 2,500 wind turbines across Denmark to deliver energy directly to customers. It can handle up to 100,000 clients - a limit which on 23 January had not yet been reached. "We can easily scale up," says Nielsen.

The secret of Vindstoed - which means "gust of wind" - is its way of handling business administration.

"We have created our own IT-model," Nielsen explains. "We do almost everything automatically. Transferring clients from their current company to ours; sending invoices: we have taken all the aspects of operating an energy company with the purpose of automatisation."

That is why he is able to dive beneath the average price by five to 10 percent, he says. He has next to no labour costs. The company does not even employ a secretary and does not offer telephone support. "We run an energy company with no more than three to five employees," says Nielsen.

Traditional companies get their energy from a variety of sources, including coal, oil, and nuclear. Most also offer a wind-only alternative, but have not been able to attract a large clientele.

The difference - aside from price - is that Vindstoed clearly promotes itself as a wind-only energy company, Nielsen says. He had a lucky break when Danish public television aired a two-minute item about the launch of the company during prime time.

Nielsen, 37, likes to believe that he empowers the citizen to vote with his or her choice of energy source.

"When people buy food, they look at the ingredients," he says. "Not so with electricity. Why not? People expect politicians to solve the climate problem. But what if we gave them as consumers the power to put pressure on companies to invest in clean energy?"

The fact that people have long had but largely flouted this power, does not seem to undermine Nielsen's belief in the consumer. If anything, he believes his success shows that people are willing to make a well-considered choice, on the condition that the price is right and it is easy to do.

The future appears bright for the company and its founder. "The climate topic is here to stay," he says. "And we have made a product that is good for people who care about climate."

Sahara wind and sun to power EU homes

This year, somewhere in Morocco, work will begin on the construction of what is to become a vast network of solar and wind energy farms in the Sahara to provide 15 percent of Europe's electricity.

Wind energy: Good or bad?

It is not all roses in the world of wind energy. Opposite to those who believe it is the key to a future of renewable clean energy, there are those who believe it is "the work of the devil."

Germany to cut solar energy subsidies

Germany's solar power industry could cool as Berlin plans to cut subsidies in a sector whose energy capacity output has successfully more than doubled the government’s projected target.

Denmark leads EU countries on wind energy

European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated.

Wind Energy

Europe is the world's biggest fan of wind energy. But other parts of the world, notably China, are catching up fast. EUobserver explores the issues in this section.

Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  2. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving up to 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  5. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  9. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  10. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  11. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  12. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People

Latest News

  1. The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
  4. Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
  7. Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
  8. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks