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Vision 2030 for Denmark

The Proposal - Fast Transition to 100 % Renewable Energy by 2030 in Denmark(Updated: March, 2015)

December 2014: The Proposal - Fast Transition to 100 % Renewable Energy by 2030 in Denmark - developed by the Danish NGO SustainableEnergy, shows how a fast transition until 2030 can be organised, 20 years earlier than the Danish government's target of 100% renewable energy by 2050.
The new Danish NGO proposal includes fast expansion of renewable energy, wind power as well as other renewables; increased focus on energy efficiency; a sustainable transport system; and increased use of wind and solar power for heating (via heat pumps) and for transport (via electricity and hydrogen). A technical evaluation shows that the energy system is in balance hour by hour over a typical year. An economic evaluation shows that the system has lower costs and risks for the society than continued use of fossil fuel. The evaluation is made using standard estimates of future fuel prices and energy technologies from International Energy Agency and the Danish Energy Agency.

The Proposal - Fast Transition to 100 % Renewable Energy by 2030 in DenmarkThe Proposals are based on a research work of several thematical expert groups coordinated by Gunnar Boye Olesen (SustainableEnergy (VE) & INFORSE). The work was supported by the VELUX Foundation.

Download: 24-page brochure and extensive thematical background notes from SustainableEnergy (VE) 's web site (in Danish).

November 12, 2014: Presentation by Gunnar Boye Olesen, SustainableEnergy & INFORSE at the
13th International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power into Power Systems, Berlin Germany.

Download: Article published in the proceedings (6-page article, 200 kB pdf file) and
power point presentation (22-slide presentation, 1.3 MB pdf file)

Overview of the Fast Transition to Renewable Energy for Denmark

Denmark is well on its way with the transition with an increase of windpower from 1% of electricity production in 1988 to 39% in 2014, strong increases in use of other renewable energy resources, and large increases in efficiency. In spite of the successes there is still a long way to go. We need clear political decisions to guide the development, and we need to give up some “holy cows”, such as the untouchable car etc.
There are a number of good reasons while Denmark should embark on a fast transition to 100% renewable energy: Denmark is one of the richest countries in the world and one of the largest CO2 emitters per capita. In addition Danish oil and gas resources will be very limited by 2030. Denmark has benefited from the first step of the transition with the development of large windpower and biomass industries. Add to all this the global dimensions: the urgent need for climate action, where some countries must be leaders.
Among the tools used for the work is the EnergyPlan model that optimised the energy supply for expected demand hour by hour over a year.

Renewable Energies in the Vision
An important part of the Vision is rapid increase of renewable energy.
This includes a continued development of:

- Windpower:
The level in 2030 could be 11,000 MW of installed capacity, up from 5,000 MW today. It could be realised by replacing existing smaller windmills with new, large ones and expanding the off-shore development from close 1,300 MW today to 5,500 MW. In this way more than 80% of the power production will come from wind.

- Solar Energy: The solar energy is proposed to be expanded to 4,000 MW PV, 11 million m2 solar collectors for district heating and use could be 13 m2 per capita for solar collection, 8 m2 solar PV electricity and 5 m2 of solar heating. Even though PV is expensive, the PV development is expected mainly after 2020. When this investment is shared over 20 years in a period with falling PV prices, it will not be a burden for Denmark. The solar heating will partly be for district heating.

- Biomass: Biomass from existing production (wood, straw etc.) can be expanded, in particular straw use and wood from parks etc. Biogas should be substantially expanded, to use half of Danish manure, grass, and other materials. Also multi-annual energy crops should be expanded, up to a proposed 223,000 ha of which 149,000 ha will replace grain on areas where nitrate leaching is too large today and a large part of the rest will replace rape seed for first generation biofuel. The energy crops can be willow, poplar, grass and mischantus. The multi-annual energy crops and the biogas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while use of straw that would otherwise be composted will give a smaller increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The total emissions from Danish agriculture will decrease compared with not using biomass for energy. To replace the grain not produced, 0,95 mill tons of the biomass produced will be reserved for fodder (as Danish grain is mainly used for fodder. In total these biomass sources can give about 150 PJ of energy + 0,95 mill tons for fodder. For the 100% renewable energy scenario is needed at least 135 PJ for biomass in addition to the other renewable energy sources.

In addition geothermal energy use should be expanded as have been done in Copenhagen, Thisted an Soenderborg. For the 100% renewable energy scenario is expected 19 PJ of geothermal, all used for district heating.

Strong Emphasis on Efficiency
For electricity consumption, industrial production and transport is expected that the end-use efficiency can be strongly increased. Until 2030 it is estimated that energy use in buildings can be reduced with 30-40% with energy efficiency, in spite of increasing housing stock and industry can save 33%.

Regarding transport OVE is in favor of a transport vision with a 30% reduction of personnel car use and almost 45% reduction of truck transport. This will partly be replaced by a factor 2.4 times increase in rail transport (3.6 times increase for freight trains) and doubling of bicycle use. This will require a shift of existing trends and doing away with the perception that longer distances of commuting and increasing goods transport are positive developments. If the vision is realised, it will remove most traffic jam, reduce noise and pollution in cities and in several other ways contribute to better lives.

Regulating Intermittent Supply
Large parts of the energy supply will come from intermittent sources. Solar heating is expected to cover 16% of district heating. This require expansion of heat storages with expansion to 7.5 days of average load in district heating systems. These heat storages can be used for storing heat from cogeneration of heat and electricity, de-linking the electricity production from the heat consumption. In the power system the requirements are larger as in 2030 over 80% of the power production should come from windpower. Almost half of the intermittent production could be used for flexible electricity use such as heat pumps and hydrogen production, while the other half should be used for normal consumption. This will require electricity exchange with Norway and Sweden as Denmark does today, and the current capacity is sufficient. No need for additional international power lines.

Good Economy in a Transition to Renewable Energy in 20 years
INFORSE-Europe and VedvarendeEnergi have assessed the economy of a rapid transformation in 20 years, and compared it with a situation where renewable energy and energy efficiency will expand at a slower pace. This assessment is also done with the EnergyPlan programme.

In the Energyvision'2030 all the energy resources comes from sources in Denmark, including biomass. At alternative scenarios Denmark will be dependent on imports of fossil energy, since the Danish production of oil and gas will be very modest in 2030.

A Fast Start is Crucial

The economy of the transition is dependent on the right decisions for investments in a timely manner. The sooner we start, the more harmonious the development can be to replace old, inefficient power plants with new ones, which are powered by renewable energy. If we wait and continue to invest in fossil energy and in roads instead of rail, the transition will be more costly.

The Vision does not end in 2030. The efficiency can continue to increase, which can free biomass that can be used in the chemical industry, where it can replace fossil fuels as feed-stock for production of plastics, lubricants, etc.

Previous Work of 100% Renewable Energy Scenarios in Denmark (update in 2010)

INFORSE Sustainable  Energy Vision 2030 Denmark posterSeptember 2010: Launch of Sustainable Energy Vision 2030 - Denmark
Press Release ( pdf file September 28, 2010)

The description of the Danish Vision 2030 (launched in September 2010),
can be downloaded: Description ( pdf file 67 kB, 6 pages)

A full-sized copy of this poster can be downloaded:

Poster DK 2030: ( pdf 358 kB)

Additional information about the Scenarios and the Vision can be downloaded from here (pdf file)





7 Scenarios with Different Development of Wind Power and Biomass (2010 scenarios)
One of the discussions of a future energy system with 100% renewable energy is “how much biomass is needed?”. It is possible to choose a larger supply of wind and in turn less biomass. Therefore, 7 scenarios are developed with different uses of wind power and biomass, for the Energyvision2030:

Denmark Energy Supply costs in EnergyVision 2030


Return to overview of INFORSE's Vision2050 page