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2021

Preben Maegaard 1935 – 2021

SolarSuperState Association press release 11.4.2021

Obituary for Preben Maegaard 25.9.1935 – 25.3.2021

Preben Maegaard’s curriculum vitae has many similarities with the famous wind turbine developer Poul la Cour (1846 – 1908).

  • Neither of them were engineers by university training. But both engineered wind turbines and other renewable energy equipment and energy storage systems. Poul la Cour was by education a physicist and meteorologist. Preben Maegaard was an economist
  • Paul la Cour worked for several years in the economic, cultural, and political center of Denmark, the capital København, before moving to the windy west of Denmark (Jutland, Danish: Jylland) in 1878. In the case of Preben Maegaard, this move took place in the 1960s. Maegaard moved to the Thy peninsula in Northwestern Denmark, where he lived until his death on March 25, 2021
  • Both started their professional careers in Jutland as teachers. La Cour taught at Askov Højskole (folk high school, an institution for adult education), Maegaard at the Verdensuniversitet (World University) in Skyum. The purpose of the World University was to bring people from all corners of the world together for technical studies. Later, Maegaard applied this philosophy at the Nordic Folkecenter in Ydby (Thisted, Denmark)
  • Both witnessed a technological and economic upheaval in the Danish energy industry. In 1891, Denmark constructed its first electric power generating stations. They used imported fossil fuels (coal and oil). La Cour thought it would be better to use renewable energy, especially wind energy. In the same year, 1891, he built the first Danish wind turbine for electricity production. History repeats itself. During the 1973/1974 oil crisis, the Danish government stepped up the transition of electricity production from oil to coal and uranium. Maegaard thought that renewable energies are the better choice than fossil and nuclear fuels. Therefore, in January 1974, he founded the project NIVE (Nordvestjydsk Institut for Vedvarende Energi, North-Western Jutland Institute of Renewable Energy) with teachers from a local technical school, local blacksmiths, and local engineers. NIVE focussed first on biogas and solar energy. But soon, the focus shifted to wind power
  • La Cour and Maegard explored energy storage using hydrogen. In 1891, La Cour needed hydrogen to ensure continuous lighting of the school. He installed a hydrogen storage tank with twelve cubic meters. The hydrogen storage tank made the school’s lighting independent of the weather. Around one hundred years later, in the 1990s, Maegaard transfered Ukrainian know-how in water electrolysis to Denmark and later built the first Danish hydrogen system at the Nordic Folkecenter, from wind power generation, water electrolysis, hydrogen storage, hydrogen filling station to hydrogen-powered vehicles
  • Throughout their lives, both had to deal with a Danish political establishment that primarily relied on fossil fuels and or nuclear energy. Unlike La Cour, Maegaard got involved in politics. Maegaard, along with many other Danes, thus thwarted the Danish governments’ desired introduction of nuclear energy in Denmark
  • Maegaard extracted the state-of-the-art for wind energy from the historical technology development of Johannes Juul, Poul la Cour’s most influential student, and the rotor blade manufacturing method of Ulrich Hütter. He called this state-of-the-art the Danish concept (three-bladed stall controlled turbines with the rotor on the upwind side). He observed the wind energy market and refined the concept. He made this knowledge available to all interested parties through various organizations. These organizations were first in chronological order the NIVE project, Danish Blacksmith’s Association (Dansk Smedemesterforening), Danish Renewable Energy Association (OVE), Nordic Folkecenter. Today wind turbine manufacturers Vestas, SiemensGamesa, Enercon, GE Wind and others have thus benefited from Maegaard
  • Both used international contacts to bring know-how to Denmark. La Cour transferred hydrogen storage system technology from Italy to Denmark. Maegaard transferred a Ukrainian water electrolysis technology to Denmark (1991 – 1994)
  • Both published many articles and several books. La Cour published many articles in the bimonthly journal on wind electricity of the Danish Wind Electricity Society. Maegaard co-edited for example the books “Wind Power for the World. The Rise of Modern Wind Energy” (2013) and “Wind Power for the World. International Reviews and Developments” (2014). He lectured at many conferences in many countries (like China, Canada, Germany) about renewable energies.

Maegaard trained many young people from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe in renewable energy technologies through the Nordic Folkcenter. He promoted 100 % renewable energy economies. In 2012, under the leadership of Maegaard, the SolarSuperState association developed the requirement for the Kingdom of Denmark to convert their national electricity supply to 100 percent renewable energy (with electricity storage if necessary) within five years. In 2013, the SolarSuperState Association expanded this requirement to all states in the world. 2014, Uruguay delivered the reality-proof that this is possible (see also SolarSuperState Prize 2017 to Uruguay). The SolarSuperState association is very grateful to Preben Maegaard for his tireless efforts on behalf of the association and the cause of renewable energy.


SolarSuperState Association press release 16.3.2021

Norway and United Kingdom enter top ten Wind power 2020

The top ten in the category Wind of the SolarSuperState Ranking 2020 using the cumulative installed wind power per population metric looks very different than that of 2019. Norway and the United Kingdom drive Canada and Austria out of the top ten. In calendar year 2019, Norway sets a new world record of net annual wind power additions of about 143 Watt per capita per year. The previous record was set by the Kingdom of Denmark in calendar year 2000 (117 Watt per capita per year). Norway also outstrips inactive Uruguay (now ranked 8th) and Finland (9th). Sweden (up from 3rd) replaces Ireland (3rd) in 2nd place. Spain, ranked 2nd six years ago, wakes up and outperforms Portugal (now 6th). Spain is now fifth.

In terms of cumulative wind power, the Kingdom of Denmark is the best coastal state. On the other hand, Austria is the best land-locked coountry on earth. In the calendar year 2019, Denmark also exceeds a cumulative installed wind power of 1000 Watt per in habitant. Measured against the SolarSuperState Association’s claims, however, the performance of both states’ governments in recent years has been less than optimal for onshore wind power. In Denmark, following the ouster of Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen (2015 – 2019), the new head of government Mette Frederiksen now has a chance to improve the situation. Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz – in office since December 18, 2017 – gets a second chance.

Wolfgang Hein, President of the SolarSuperState Association, therefore demands from both politicians: “Denmark and Austria should immediately significantly reduce the administrative barriers to wind power from the municipal to the central government level. The long-term financial attractiveness has to be increased substantially also for small investors. In this way, individuals and communities of citizens could then contribute directly with their money (again) to the necessary rapid climate protection. Rapid means 100 % renewable energy (including electricity) in 10 years.”

SolarSuperState Association press release 8.1.2021

Denmark’s municipalities partially with net negative wind power additions in 2018

The Kingdom of Denmark remains unchallenged in first place in the SolarSuperState Ranking 2019 rankings for the wind category. The grid connection of the first four of forty-nine offshore wind farm wind turbines in December 2018 was the dominant wind installation activity in the calendar year 2018. According to official statistics, three Danish municipalities saw their wind power capacity shrink in 2018: Struer (-150 kiloWatt), Aabenraa (-500 kW), and Roskilde (-1200 kW). The Royal Government’s unilateral favoring of offshore wind, natural gas, and petroleum is one reason for the poor environmental performance of many municipalities. Another reason may be local political indifference or incompetence. Jane Kruse, director of the Nordic Folkecenter of Renewable Energy in Thisted (Denmark), says: “Global warming poses an existential threat to all communities. That is why climate protection belongs to the top of the municipal policy agenda. The rapid replacement of fossil energy use by renewable energy use is imperative. Wind energy and solar energy are the most important renewable energies for all municipalities. Struer and the other municipalities must immediately tear down all useless municipal bureaucratic barriers to renewable energy.“

She adds: “Denmark does not need municipal greenwashing policy but immediate municipal action. The central government of Denmark should better control the municipalities and force them to reduce substantially their bureaucracy hindering renewable energies.»

Behind Denmark, the close fight for rank two resulted in a change in the category Wind of the ranking. Ireland replaces Germany (down to rank four) as number two. Ireland added about 80 watts of wind power per capita in 2018 and now reaches 727 watts per capita. Sweden stays on rank three. Austria overtakes Canada to reach ninth place. Canada added only about eight watts per capita in 2018. That is far too low for the state’s compliance with the Paris Agreement 2015 on climate protection.

By the way, Donald Trump (president since 20.1.2017) did a better job with the United States of America (rank 14; 292 W/c; + 26 W/c/year) than Doris Leuthard (minister of energy, environment, space planning and infrastructure from 2010 to 31.12.2018) did with Switzerland (rank 69; 9 W/c; + 0 W/c/year).

2020

28.11.2020 SolarSuperState Association press release
Netherlands Master in annual photovoltaic additions, but must do more for climate protection
SolarSuperState Association, Thayngen/Kanton Schaffhausen
The Kingdom of the Netherlands accelerates the deployment of photovoltaics. In the calendar year 2018, the Netherlands increased its cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity by some 97 Watts per capita. Together with Malta (rank 9), the Netherlands (rank 10) replace Greece (rank 12 with 247 Watt/capita) and Switzerland (rank 11 with 254 Watt/capita) in the top ten of the category Solar of the SolarSuperState Ranking 2019. In 2018, the Netherlands outperformed all other states in terms of annual net additions of its capacity for photovoltaics per population. The Dutch solar power (263 Watt/capita) is larger than the national wind power (259 Watt/capita). In the category wind of the SolarSuperState Ranking 2019, the Netherlands achieve rank 16. The president of the SolarSuperState Association Wolfgang Hein says: “Net annual additions of 100 Watts per capita per year is not enough for the Netherlands to comply with the Paris Agreement 2015. The Netherlands can and shall add far more capacity every year both in Wind and Solar!”

2019

Switzerland nuclear energy

4.8.2019. The SolarSuperState Association requests from all states to target 100 % renewables in 10 years.

2018

Switzerland nuclear energy

Volker Thomsen

German climate policy

2017

2016

2015

Denmark Tvind wind turbine sound 9 seconds

2014

2013

2012