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Renewable energy sources are replacing coal in the Danish energy mix

by Kathrine

Denmark’s consumption of coal fell by 25 percent in 2017. At the same time, the consumption of renewable energy increased by just over 11 percent. Overall, this led to a large drop in energy-related CO2 emissions. These are some of the conclusions found in the Danish Energy Agency’s annual energy statistics.


In 2017, Danish companies and households could feel slightly better about their consumption of heat and power. The reason why can be found in the latest version of the Danish Energy Agency‘s annual energy statistics, which shows that the use of coal to produce heat and electricity has decreased by 25.5 percent in just one year. This figure fluctuates from year to year, depending on Denmark’s production and consumption of renewable energy, but the trend is clear: the pace at which coal is being phased out from the Danish energy mix is increasing. When compared to 1990 levels, Denmark’s coal consumption has fallen by 74 percent. “It’s good news that the share of coal in our energy mix has fallen by more than a quarter in 2017. Although there are fluctuations from year to year, it shows that we are on track with the conversion of coal-fired power plants and the Danish government’s goal of phasing out coal by 2030,” said the Danish Energy, Utilities and Climate Minister, Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

A decisive factor in the significant decrease in the consumption of coal is that Danish power plants are replacing coal with biomass. Additionally, there was an increase in wind energy in 2017 compared to 2016 levels.

Consumption of renewable energy rises and CO2 emissions fall
Denmark’s total consumption of renewable energy (including non-biodegradable waste) has increased by 11.4 percent from 2016 to 2017. At the same time, Denmark’s energy-related CO2 emissions have decreased by 6 percent, as the country’s energy consumption has largely been sourced from renewables. “The figures speak for themselves. As we succeed in replacing coal with renewable energy, we also emit less CO2. The 2017 energy figures are so substantial that there is no doubt that the development is heading in the right direction for our climate,” said Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

Based on 1990 levels, adjusted CO2 emissions have fallen by 38.3 percent.

Development in adjusted gross energy consumption and CO2 emissions, 1990-2017. 1990=100

Source: The Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and the Danish Energy Agency