Denmark could be independent from fossil fuels and cut emissions by 80-95% on 1990 levels by 2050, according to a report from the government’s climate commission.
The report prepared by the Klimakomissionen argues that the rising costs of fossil fuels and CO2 reduction measures, if coupled with limiting consumption through improved efficiency, makes the cost of conversion “surprisingly low”.
The key feature of Denmark’s green energy future, according to the report, would be the use of energy far more efficiency – for example cutting the heat used in homes by half and improving the fuel efficiency of cars.
In this ‘green’ future, electricity will comprise 40-70% of energy consumption, up from around 20% now. And a large part of this electricity will come from offshore wind farms, which the report highlights as an economically viable option for Denmark.
The Klimakomissionen says many more turbines will have to be erected to cover up to half of the country’s energy consumption.
Meanwhile, the energy system will have to become much more flexible and intelligent to cope with the fluctuation of wind energy.
Technologies such as smart electricity meters, time-controlled recharging for electric cars and heat pumps in combination with heat storage systems will be crucial to the new energy order.
The report says that biomass will play an important role as back up to wind power and to supply heating for homes, along with solar heating, geothermal energy and heat pumps, which will serve district heating systems.
Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has warmly welcomed the report, placing as it does wind power as the cornerstone of Denmark’s future energy portfolio.
“If the Danish government intends to follow the Climate Commission’s recommendations, it will contribute to keeping Denmark the leader in wind energy technology development,” says CEO Ditlev Engel. “It will also send a very clear and important signal to other countries that wind is a sustainable source of energy for future development.”
Denmark was an early leader in offshore wind, but has in recent years had to take second place to the UK, which has now exceeded 5 GW of offshore wind power.
For further information:
Scotland to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025, says Salmond (28-Sept)
UK should learn from Denmark’s wind industry policy, says Aquamarine Power (20-Sept)
World’s largest offshore wind farm ready to open in UK (14-Sept)
World’s largest offshore wind farm switched on (21-Sept 2009)
UK becomes world leader in offshore wind (22-Oct 2008)
29 September 2010