The Danish Energy Agency’s preliminary energy statistics show that Denmark’s energy consumption exceeded production in 2013 – for the first time in 16 years. According to Denmark’s Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, it underlines the need for transitioning to an energy-efficient society based on renewable energy.
For many years Denmark has been the only country in the EU self-supplied with energy. However, the level of self-sufficiency declined to 93% in 2013 making Denmark a net importer of energy for the first time in 16 years. This is not least due to the fact that Denmark imported large amounts of coal.
“The long-term goal of our climate policy is to avoid the use of fossil fuels. This coincides with the goal of ensuring energy independency. We must utilise the energy efficiently and produce our own energy from wind, biomass and solar”, says Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Rasmus Helveg Petersen.
Ensuring security of supply
Denmark has benefitted from oil and gas production in the North Sea for many years. In 2004, at time of peak production, Denmark produced 56% more energy than it consumed. Over the next 10 years production in the North Sea will continue to decline, subsequently increasing Denmark’s dependency on imported energy – unless the energy sector is converted.
“The energy agreement is a first step but it does not stop there. Denmark is a wind-swept country with a strong agricultural sector and it is obvious to utilise our own resources rather than import energy, says the minister.
Self-sufficiency is not a goal in itself but security of supply is. The Danish government works to create an integrated energy market in the EU with strong electricity and gas lines between countries. Because wind turbines only produce energy when the wind blows, it underlines the importance of exchanging energy with our neighbouring countries, which ensures a stabile supply at the lowest possible price.
At the same time, the Danish government is working to ensure an ambitious climate and energy policy in the EU, which will minimise dependency on imported gas.
“There is a strong rationale in producing the energy ourselves rather than sending money out of the EU. I think many are realising that there is a political and economic cost of being dependent of foreign energy. This is something we must relate to in the EU – and now also in Denmark”, says the minister.
Denmark’s share of renewables continues to increase each year. According to the preliminary statistics from the Danish Energy Agency, 24,5% of Denmark’s energy derived from renewable energy sources in 2013.
Source: State of Green