Denmark Passes Legislation: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050!

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.

  • incentives for large-scale power plants to convert from coal to biomass and commits funds to promote geothermal energy;
  • allocates funds to help existing buildings convert from oil boilers to renewables.

    Bans oil and natural gas boilers in new buildings in 2013 and in existing buildings in 2016, where district heating is available.

  • subsidizes energy efficiency investments in industry and the use of renewable energy in production processes.
  • development of a comprehensive smart grid strategy so that renewables can power the grid.
  • ambitious plan to expand biogas in industrial processes, the natural gas grid and transportation.
  • development of a strategy to promote energy efficient vehicles, subsidies for electric car charging stations, hydrogen infrastructure and natural gas infrastructure for heavy transport. Fuels must contain 10% biofuels by 2020.

"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.

  • continued investments in research, development and demonstration in energy technologies.
  • includes financing mechanisms including tariffs on energy distribution to fund efficiency improvements, a supply tax on space heating to fund biogas, industrial combined heat and power (CHP), and a surcharge on electricity bills to subsidize renewables.

Here’s the legislation:

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  1. shripad

    It is well known and globally appreciated fact that fossil fuel stock is limited and is depleting fast particularly, with the growing human activities day by day. Moreover, rampant consumption of the fuels like oil and gas is causing threat to our planet as, it is steering the world to the corner of environmental imbalance and catastrophic climate change endangering the “life” on the earth.
    Sometimes back in a release, the author Kathleen Byrne has rightly deliberated on the topic and her write up on the importance of renewable energy has significant proclamations and deserves serious consideration in the wake of the global issues like climate change and present day gap between supply and demand as well as from the view point of employment generation.
    The author of the States has correctly pointed at the addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels which puts national economy, the national security and our environment at risk. Parallel to this Secretary Mabus has stated very correctly that reducing our reliance on foreign sources of energy makes the country more secure. Competition over fossil fuel resources has been one of the leading sources of conflict over the years. Today, little has changed – whether it is oil, natural gas, or electricity – disruptions in the flow of energy can cause major economic havoc and negatively affect both our national security and international stability.
    Hence, it is imperative for the developed as well as developing nations to plan a systematic shift from usage of conventional fuels to non-conventional energy source. These sources are inexhaustible and ever renewable. The energy derived from the renewable energy sources is clean and safe. The abundance of the natural renewable sources of energy like sun, wind and water are required to be harnessed for the betterment of mankind. Hardly a fraction of the solar energy reaching to the earth is utilised.
    It is felt that a transparent mechanism is evolved at the National level covering all the States and formulation is imposed through enactment with active involvement of the SERCs and a composite mapping is done with due recognition and consideration for power generation through Renewable energy sources as, immense potential is available in the country. This arrangement, after assessing the demand-supply situation would go a long way to ensure nationwide energy security.
    Parallel to this, it cannot be denied at any stage that apart from the Industries, the civilized society is also consuming energy heavily for its daily needs, be it residence, office, cinema, malls, hospitals and inmates of society are either feebly aware of the sense of conservation or they have hardly been educated appropriately about the same. Merely publishing slogans to adopt the (now very common) device-CFL luminaries is quite insufficient in the wake of the fact that the number of consumers is increasing day by day and consuming conventional energy in higher magnitude is a potential threat to climate on the whole.
    Therefore, some concrete measures are to be adopted soon so that the situation remains within control before it becomes uncontrollably magnanimous. Certain measures and steps to words cleaner, better and safe living with conservation of energy in social circle are:
    Educating people about hazards of uncontrolled usage of energy by consuming fossil fuels. Inculcate among the masses importance of energy conservation and benefits of the same in their everyday life.
    Introduce concept of renewable energy to people and foster in them value of this inexhaustible energy which when put to application leaves behind no trace of pollution or filth of any kind and a clean, healthy and economic living is ensured.
    Electric geysers be replaced with solar water heater by suitable enactment.
    Solar power plants to support cluster of houses in rural as well as urban localities.
    Restricting usage of inverters and encouraging usage of Renewable devices as stand by in the event of power cut.
    Controlled automobile usage & many more points….
    In India too, the Govt. is putting in efforts to promote usage of the renewable energy. Recently the union Govt. has launched nationwide ambitious programme called “solar mission”, in order to extend convenient reach to the renewable energy sources for the country men.
    Towards the end of March 2011, a report was published titling “60 industries in north India to implement PAT scheme” and elaborated that about 60 energy intensive industries across eight sectors in Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh with energy consumption more than specified limit have been notified under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, and selected in the Phase-I of PAT (perform, achieve, trade) scheme.
    It was encouraging to read about the efforts of Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency by way of PAT (perform, achieve, trade) scheme. This would go well if reckoned properly in the National interest and the big players rise above the vested interest.
    Few things I wish to point out: 1) should BEE focus on the govt offices and institution as well as public utility energy consumption where rampant wastage and misuse is registered then, there would be drastic correction on the energy demand & supply scale. 2) There is plethoric scope and opportunity to supplement the energy need by promoting the Renewable Energy in the country provided smooth and transparent trading is adopted. 3) The article speaks about ESCerts can be used by other designated consumers (who may find it expensive to meet their norms) for compliance. They will be denominated in tonnes of oil-equivalent (ToE) and exchanged on special trading platforms. If this works then the question arises as to what will be the mechanism of this kind of exchange and sale out, and the same needs to be elaborated by the office bearers framing this policy.
    With the renewable energy on the national priority agenda there would be lots of opportunity for the youth to be absorbed. For this suitable addition, amendment and reform are to be introduced at the very training level so that employable skills are acquired by the students. Also, as the author has indicated, leveraging alliance partnerships to focus on targeted education, assisting in key workforce development, facilitating development of computer-based training for manufacturers of tomorrow’s smart grid technologies and tools, enhancing existing training systems and those that are currently manufacturing new technologies that will make the smart grid work may increase supply of the future workforce needed.
    So, the moral lies in the fact that despite above article the significance of conserving energy by gradually adopting non-conventional way of life harnessing renewable energy is not only vital but inevitable too. (shripad)

  2. Melanie

    Danes have always been on the forefront- please tell our stoneage men in US how its done right!!!
    They are still teenagers- Patience is not my foretay.


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