Stockholm (NordSIP) – The Danish government last week (April 26) presented its proposal for a new energy agreement to push Denmark in a greener direction by 2030, specifically through proposals to establish the largest wind farm ever built in Denmark. The Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri – DI) is urging a broad political settlement across the nation’s parties while pushing for the final agreement to include a clear focus on increasing energy efficiency in buildings.
The government, led by Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen of the Venstre Party, presented its new energy package, Energi til et Grønt Danmark (Energy for a Green Denmark) last week as a step towards covering half of Denmark’s energy consumption with renewable energy by 2030, with proposals for reducing the Danish electricity bill and a new offshore wind farm as the main plays.
“Green electricity will be cheaper and more attractive to all Danish citizens,” Rasmussen said.
The government needs to gather a political majority to support the proposal, which calls for the immediate easing of taxes on electricity amounting to a total of DKK3.5 billion by 2025. Flanked by Energy, Supply and Climate Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt, Interior Minister Simon Emil Ammitzbøll-Bille and Minister for Industry Brian Mikkelsen, Rasmussen also announced a new offshore wind farm.
“We will build one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm in Denmark, which will be able to produce enough green power to supply Denmark’s seven largest cities with climate-friendly electricity all year round,” said Lilleholt.
According to government calculations, mills in the proposed wind farm will supply so much power to the Danish market that it will correspond to the power consumption in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Esbjerg, Randers and Kolding – combined. The wind farm will increase the production of offshore wind power by about a third, according to government estimates, increasing the share of renewable energy by two percentage points.
DI: More Energy Efficient Buildings Required
The government’s energy plan met with a broad welcome, although some accused it of coming up short.
“Companies need a new energy agreement in Denmark that buttresses the country’s leadership in the green transition,” said DI director Tine Roed. “The initiative outlined by the government is a good starting point for forthcoming negotiations. We hope a broad majority in the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) will negotiate a settlement as soon as possible to lead Denmark towards a sustainable society.”
The government’s proposal to build the largest ever offshore wind farm in Denmark emphasises the will to maintain Denmark’s leading position in the field of offshore wind, but efforts to increase energy efficiency must also include energy efficient buildings, offers Roed.
“We agree that efforts to increase energy efficiency should be more competitive. But politicians must remember that our effort to save energy in buildings today delivers about a third of the energy savings we are pledged to deliver annually by 2020. Without a target for buildings we risk losing the progress we have made in real time,” she added.
An objective was set in the government’s 2017 exports strategy to double exports of energy technology and services to DKK140 billion. The government’s energy strategy is a significant boost to this export promotion, with efforts totalling DKK175 million up to and including 2024.
“It’s wise to increase efforts in export promotion. International demand for green and efficient energy is rising,” Roed says. “Unfortunately, we are also experiencing a slowdown in Danish energy technology export in recent years. That’s why there’s a need to throw more into the game, so as not to be left in the dust by competitors.”
Henceforth, there will be free competition between technologies, and the country’s entire energy policy will be financed in the future through the annual Finance Act. This will lower the bill for companies and improve competitiveness, according to DI.
“Under the current energy agreement, prices for wind and solar energy have fallen sharply. There is a prospect that investments in renewable energy will be possible without government support by 2030, which will benefit all of Danish society,” according to Roed.
The government will also promote the efficient use of the surplus heat with a special annual DKK100 million fund, as well as proposing a permanent reduction in the electricity heating tax by a total of 25 øre per kWh, making it more attractive to invest in electric heat pumps.
DI is encouraging all parties in the Danish Parliament to commit to enhanced R&D in the energy field in the final agreement on the government’s 2030 proposal. The sooner the parties agree, the more space there will be for sustainable investments of the future, according to DI.
Image: (c) totojang1977-shutterstock