The Danish Government unveiled its "Energy Strategy 2050", which describes how the country can achieve its independence from coal, oil and gas by 2050 and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The energy strategy contains a raft of initiatives that will reduce the energy industry´s use of fossil fuels by 33 percent in 2020, compared with 2009. The reduction will put Denmark well on its way to complete independence of fossil fuels by 2050.
"Denmark is the first country to present such a specific and ambitious strategy for achieving independence from fossil fuels," says Minister for Climate and Energy Lykke Friis.
The strategy calls for a significant increase in renewable energy obtained from wind, biomass and biogas which over the next decade will increase the share of renewables to 33 percent of energy consumption, if the initiatives in the strategy are implemented. Doing so would place Denmark among the top three countries in the world in terms of overall increase in renewable energy as a share of total energy consumption. Part of the increase would also rely on increasing use of biogas for heat, and a number of new initiatives will be put forth in order to promote the production of biogas.
By 2020, construction of new offshore wind turbines at the Kriegers Flak wind farm, coastal wind turbines and land-based turbines will more than double wind power capacity in Denmark, to a total of 42 percent of overall energy production capacity, compared with about 20 percent today. Fully 62 percent of electricity generation will come from renewable sources.
Meanwhile, strengthened energy efficiency efforts will reduce gross energy use by 6 percent in 2020, compared with 2006 levels. In reaching the goal, Denmark will meet the energy efficiency goals set out in the 2008 energy agreement, and the country will retain its position as a world leader in the area. The strategy offers an economically responsible path to the conversion of the Danish energy supply, and includes specific initiatives, that are all fully financed and which will not damage the nation´s competitiveness. Homeowners will experience moderate increases in the costs of heat and electricity, but will also be given opportunities to lower their energy expenses through greater efficiency. Companies can expect added expenses amounting to 0.1 percent of the rise in their gross revenue growth by 2020.
Minister for Climate and Energy Lykke Friis underscores that the costs of converting from fossil fuels to green energy should also been seen in the light of expected increases in the cost of fossil fuels.
"No one is saying that carrying out major investments in energy efficiency and expanding our use of renewable energy is going to be free. But the alternative: Continued dependence on fossil fuels will, as all signs indicate, only become more expensive in the years to come. Converting to renewable energy will shield Denmark from the effects of increasing energy prices.
(CSR, Denmark, www.csr.dk)