Denmark Passes Legislation: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050!

03/30/2012 News

Denmark's Parliament has passed the most ambitious green economy plan in the world: it will generate 35% of its energy from renewable energy by 2020 and 100% by 2050.

Martin Lidegaard, Denmark's Minister for Climate, Energy and Building says, "Denmark will once again be the global leader in the transition to green energy. This will prepare us for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal. Moreover, it will create some of the jobs that we need so desperately, now and in the coming years."

First, cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 34% below 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce energy consumption 12% below 2006 levels.

Second, supply 35% of energy from renewables, with wind providing 50% of that. The rest will come from renewable heat, smart grid, biogas, and other green technologies.

The agreement is important for delivering on the political goal that Denmark's entire energy supply (electricity, heating, industry and transport) is covered by renewable energy in 2050, says the document.

Wind energy, which Denmark has long exploited, currently provides 25% of the country's electricity. Vestas, the world's leading turbine maker, is based there.

While cleantech accounts for about 0.3% of U.S. gross domestic product, it accounts for 3.1% in Denmark, largely because of its strong wind industry.

Details of the Plan

The plan outlines goals and funding strategies for every sector of society including industry and transportation.

To achieve 50% wind energy, the program calls for 1500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind and 1800 MW of onshore wind by 2020, to provide for replacement of older turbines.

"In the long term," the plan says, "the transport sector will face a radical conversion from fossil fuels to electricity and biofuels."

Project Better Place operates an electric car battery swapping network in Denmark.

Here's the legislation: