Denmark Plans to Phase Out Renewable Subsidies as Technologies Surge, Prices Fall
Denmark is “just a few years” away from bringing the curtain down on more than 40 years of renewable energy subsidies, after concluding that the industry is strong and affordable enough to survive on its own.
“We’re now very close to arriving,” Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said last week, after receiving the report of a government-appointed panel on the country’s energy future.
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“Everything suggests that technology will help make renewable energy more and more competitive,” he added. “Already today, it’s impossible to build a new coal power plant without [subsidy],” due to the falling cost of clean energy alternatives.
“The development marks a milestone,” notes Bloomberg News, in a post published on Renewable Energy World. “But it also comes at a time when the direction of global energy policies is in doubt,” with the Trump Administration promoting climate denial and promising to revive the country’s rapidly-expiring coal industry.
But the panel concluded that “Denmark is on target to have all its energy needs covered by renewables by 2050, with half that goal set to be achieved in 2030,” the news agency notes. “Much of the new capacity will be built without subsidies,” leading the national panel to recommend that the country shift its heating and transportation to rely on renewable electricity.
Denmark is already the home of global renewable energy giants like Vestas and Dong Energy, and industry leaders foresee renewable energy prices dropping below today’s market electricity rates sometime next decade. “A year ago, it was debatable whether renewable energy costs could drop so low,” said Niels B. Christiansen, outgoing CEO of engineering firm Danfoss A/S. “But everyone’s now thinking that it will probably happen sooner.”