Copenhagen, Weekend

From Sunday in Copenhagen…

ON SUNDAY, they rested. No doubt informal talks continued all across Copenhagen, as did organised side events such as “Forest Day”, but the Bella Centre itself was shut, allowing a security sweep prior to the arrival, next week, of over 100 heads of government and state. Thus freed from the obligations of attendance, it was time to actually see Copenhagen, and get not just out and about, but out to sea.

The Middelgrunden wind farm

My trip onto the flat and initially sunny waters of the Oresund was laid on by various wind-industry groups that wanted to impress journalists with a close up look at the Middelgrunden wind farm.

Denmark already gets a lot of its energy from the wind, and it wants to get a lot more—perhaps another two gigawatts of installed capacity by 2020, more than half of it at sea. Anders Soe Jensen, the president of a wind-power company called Vestas, who gamely played tour guide from the deck despite suffering from a stinking cold, explained that offshore wind can expect to grow at 45% a year for the next five years. It is expensive (installation, foundations, cabling, substations and the like cost as much as the mighty turbines themselves)

To the north-east, in Sweden, are the two brick-like reactor halls of the decommissioned Barseback nuclear-power station, less lovely than the wind farm but capable, in their prime, of producing 30-odd times more power.

The Pulse is providing readers with a daily snippet of The Economist’s correspondent diary. You can find past updates from the conference diary here. Please visit The Economist for the full text of the diary and extended coverage of the conference.

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