New Danish low carbon strategy receives broad backing

50 percent wind power in total electricity generation and a 34 percent CO2 reduction in 2020. These are some of the results of the new political agreement between the Danish center-left Government and the liberal-rightwing opposition laying out the future energy policy towards 2020.

The energy industry backs the political ambitions by investing billions the coming years in new power generation, smart grids and interconnectors, says the Danish Energy Association.

“We are fortunate in Denmark to have a political tradition for broad long term political framework for our investments. We see the targets as very ambitious but realistic. If given the right incentives we will make the needed investments to transform and electrify our energy system”, says Ulrich Bang, Director of International and EU Affairs.

National targets and objectives are not seen as a contradiction to a European policy by the energy industry but there is a need for European solutions and instruments.

“We urgently need to strengthen the European Emission Trading System (ETS) in order to incentivize low carbon investments – not only in Denmark but all over Europe.  The Energy Efficiency Directive negotiated between Member States these days holds the key to secure the right incentives“.

The power plants in Europe are ready to retire with an average age of around 30 years for coal fired power stations and according to analysis by the Danish Energy Association there is a need to invest in new capacity equivalent of 150 new coal fired power stations until 2020.

“A well-functioning ETS will secure low carbon power generation and non-carbon-intensive technologies. We and other progressive companies and organisations urge the council to follow the broad majority in the European Parliament on this and call for a proposal by the Commission to fix the ETS”, says Ulrich Bang.

Especially the 50 percent wind power is a great opportunity but also a challenge.

“We need strong interconnectors to transport the wind power to the load centers in Europe. A strong transmission grid is the backbone in the future low carbon energy system where electricity gradually will substitute fossil fuels in the heat and transport sectors. We need EU regulation and an internal energy market to make fulfill the national political priorities”, Ulrich Bang continues.