Monday, 20 September 2010
Denmark Facts and Figures
Denmark was hit hard by the oil crisis of the 1970’s as back then 99% of their energy was imported. Their first energy strategy in 1973 put security of supply at the top of the bill. This target has been achieved in spades – in 1997 they became the only EU country to be self sufficient in energy and in 2008 they produced 30% more than they used. About 20% of this is renewables based, particularly wind, in which they lead the world. Home to Siemens Wind Power and Vestas Wind Systems the Danes control some 42% of the global market for wind turbines (2005 figure) and were the first country to establish offshore wind. District heating has also been promoted through national energy strategies, 42% of it fuelled by waste or biomass, with connection in some areas compulsory. The only exception to this is extremely low energy housing (typically 75% less energy use), also energy from waste with the proportion of their electricity generated from this only being exceeded in the EU by the Netherlands.
Increased domestic production has gone hand in hand with increased energy efficiency, driven largely in the domestic market by high taxes on energy. The building regulations call for and averaged wall floor and roof u value of 0.16 (Compared to the UK 0.24 and the German Passivhaus standard 0.1)
And the result of this? They have an average annual carbon burden per household of 5.65 tonnes (UK=5.99) and per person of 9.38 tonnes, slightly better than Germany but still more than the UK. I don’t know why this is – one possibility that springs to mind after today is the predominance of detached homes. Another possibility is the rural nature of much of the country which requires car use for most people – although I’ve seen very few of them out on my travels.