Danish Parliamentarians Craft Ambitious Green Plan Across Party Lines
In a “textbook example of politics for the common good,” the Danish parliament has overcome considerable disagreement on just how green its country needs to become, unanimously approving a DKK 10.1 billion (US$1.6 billion), 12-year green energy transition plan.
Labelled “the green transformation of 2030” by the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities, and Climate, the deal commits to building three offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 2.4 GW and achieving 100% renewable electricity production by 2030, while phasing coal out of electricity production, CleanTechnica reports. Biogas production will also $receive 626 billion in new support by 2030.
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Ministry of Finance briefing notes show another $660 million “in technology-neutral tenders where different technologies like wind and solar will compete to deliver energy at the lowest price,” as well as $78 million to be “allocated yearly from 2021 to 2024 for a market-based energy efficiency grant.” Out in the marketplace itself, electricity taxes will be reduced by $313 million.
Post-2026, annual grants of $78 million will support “further efforts to promote renewable energy.”
In significant part thanks to Denmark’s strong wind capacity, “55% of the country’s total energy needs [are] set to be supplied by renewables by the year 2030,” reports Danish clean energy advocate Jesper Berggreen.
Energy and Climate Minister Lars Chr. Lilleholt praised the all-party agreement for positioning Denmark “as a pioneer country in energy and climate”, a status which “creates confidence in the development and consistency in the direction.”
But there may be storms ahead, as the country’s voters weigh in on the trajectory for green transportation—the current deal allocates $78 million in green transit initiatives for 2020-2024. Above all, there will be battles over the fate of offshore oil and gas drilling.
In February, the government announced “a historic milestone in Danish energy and climate policy,” with the cessation of exploration and drilling for oil and gas on land and inland waters, CleanTechnica notes. The agreement just signed “still leaves room for exploiting the North Sea for an indefinite number of years, which the opposition party Enhedslisten strongly opposes” and will fight to end, according to party leader Pelle Dragsted.
In the meantime, though, Berggreen is inclined to “look at the bright side and celebrate the sheer possibility of political consensus in this field,” which he notes is “not something we see every day.”