Here, we provide an update on the climate and energy ambitions of Denmark, focussing on the thoughts of Minister of Climate, Energy and Supply, Dan Jørgensen about these vital policy areas
In Denmark, the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Supply work towards an ambitious target of a 70% reduction of greenhouse gases in the country by 2030. (1) On 3rd March this year, Denmark, along with 11 other countries, called on the European Commission to present their plan for raising the European Union’s 2030 CO2 reduction target as soon as possible.
In 2020, all parties to the Paris Agreement must revisit their NDC (nationally determined contribution) and in light of the upcoming UN Annual Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November, there isn’t all the time in the world to agree on a stronger target.
Elaborating on this, Minister Jørgensen, argued that: “2020 must be the year of the climate ambitions and everyone has to deliver. If someone needs more reasons to act, then the repeated cases of extreme weather are a constant reminder of the urgent situation we are in.” (2)
A day later Minister Jørgensen warmly welcomed the proposal for a European climate law. He commented that with Denmark having an ambitious and binding climate law, the European Union must follow suit. The Minister stressed it’s vital that “a climate neutrality target is set and legally binding” and provided comment on the 2030 target he strived for, which must be no less than 55%.
“With the Danish climate law, we have a really good starting point for helping to shape the European climate law. I look forward to further work on the proposal.” (3)
The aforementioned areas discussed in this article so far, certainly demonstrate that Denmark is living up to its own expectation for “visionary green leadership both at home and abroad”. (1)
Denmark’s green ambitions, including energy
In addition to the Minister’s ambitions for climate, we know about his vision for Denmark to become a green superpower, building on its proud tradition in the green area. Last year, the Minister described more about this ambition at the time he took up his current role.
“We have been some of the first and best to save energy and to change our energy system, so that today we get more and more green energy from, for example, wind turbines at sea. And we have an electricity and supply grid that ensures that we can not only trust that there is power in the outlet, but also that green power is increasingly coming out of it.
“We must continue the development here in Denmark. But of course, we must also use our experience to make a big difference in the world. We must be a green superpower. If not for us – who should?” (4)
Security of electricity supply
In January this year, our thoughts were turned to the fact that Denmark has a level of security of electricity supply that is, in fact, among the highest in Europe. While Denmark also has “a record high phase-in of wind and solar energy in the electricity system” to meet the target investments for the future, Minister Jørgensen now “sets the level of security of electricity supply in Denmark in 2030,” we discover.
“The planning target is set for seven interrupt minutes for the overall electricity system in 2030…Only a planning target is set for the overall electricity system, as there is insufficient data to set a level for the underlying electricity grid. The database from the grid companies must be strengthened in the future so that a level can also be set for the underlying electricity grid.” (4)
The development of green fuels
Finally, in late 2019, we find out that DKK 128 million is being invested in the development of green fuels in Denmark, as part of the next major stride forward of the green transition. In an exciting future, this means that green power will be used as fuels for buses, planes and ships. While renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, have enormous scope to reduce CO2 emissions, technologies are required in the space to better realise the full potential of such power. The announced funding will, by all means, support conversion and renewable energy storage technologies.
“Denmark must assume a global leadership role and be a front-runner in technology for storing and converting green power. We have a good starting point with the knowledge and technology that has been developed in Denmark and especially in the Danish wind industry. We must build on that foundation. With support for two significant projects totalling DKK 128 million, we will take one of the first important steps,” Minister Jørgensen remarked.
Strong support is given here for two projects concerned with the conversion of electricity into hydrogen and will mean that technology and capacity will be significantly developed when the support period ends and market conditions can be operated within.
“We are at a point where renewable energy production technologies are so advanced that they will no longer need support. That is why we are now increasing our focus on supporting the technologies of the future to ensure that we utilize the enormous potential of renewable energy. The next big step in the green transition is to develop technologies that can convert the green power into fuels, buses, planes and ships,” Minister Jørgensen concluded. (6)
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