Nearly 100 business people and the Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate met at COWI in Lyngby, Denmark, to discuss how industries can make an active contribution to a cost-effective green transition and the conditions needed to remain a green frontrunner on the global stage.
Denmark has for long been a global focal point in terms of promoting and implementing green initiatives.
Last Thursday, COWI housed a debate about the ambition to continue pushing ‘tiny Denmark’ forwards as an international superpower in the green arena.
”It calls for broad-based collaboration and, as we all know, you can’t really dance alone – it’s not a pretty sight, at any rate,” as the Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Christian Lilleholt concluded in his introductory talk on the next step in the green transition.
“Denmark’s climate and energy policy needs to involve smart and ambitious movements towards the green transition. We need to strengthen our research on future energy solutions and modernise energy taxes so they promote and not obstruct the green transition. We are starting a new chapter in Denmark’s energy policy,” the minister said.
Businesses play a key role
COWI’s Industry and Energy director, Brian Seeberg, emphasized the importance of breaking free from the silo mentality and promote efforts across sectors and businesses. Each business has its own unique perspective and there is a lot to gain by adding more players to the green narrative.
The Energy Minister was joined on the panel by representatives from Ørsted, HOFOR, Vestas, Grundfos, PKA and COWI, who debated how businesses can contribute to the green agenda and deliver innovative solutions by entering into dialogue with policy-makers.
Efficiency and sustainable energy are equally important
Vestas focused on the need to push forward technological innovation to maintain Denmark’s elite position globally. Senior Public Affairs Manager Ask Møller-Nielsen from Grundfos emphasized the need to remember that energy efficiency is just as important as sustainable energy: “I get a little worried when I hear catchphrases such as: ‘Why save on energy when it’s green?’ There are multiple opportunities for improving energy efficiency in housing and production. We are at least 15.000 people in Denmark who work with energy efficient solutions,” he said.
Don’t turn your back on power plants
From Bioenergy and Thermal Power in Ørsted, Thomas Dalsgaard revealed that the rumour of the death of power plants has been greatly exaggerated and pointed out that we will most likely rely on power plants for quite a while. It is important not to shun the plants when making energy policy. “The power plants are there when the wind does not blow, and the plants are now operating with biomass so they are also part of the green transition,” he said.
A common focal point was to continue down the same path with a longsighted perspective, remember where you excel and improve upon those areas to stay on top.