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Baseline Projection 2015: Denmark’s Greenhouse Gasses Reduced by 40% in 2020

News   •   Dec 16, 2015 01:00 CET

Press Release:

The baseline projection 2015 shows that Denmark’s total emission of greenhouse gasses will be reduced by 40% in 2020 compared to 1990. The projection also shows that Denmark will go beyond the EU target for renewable energy and the EU target to reduce emissions from the non-ETS sectors in 2020.

The total Danish emissions of greenhouse gasses have been declining since the beginning of the 1990ies. The baseline projection illustrates that Denmark’s emissions are reduced by 40% in 2020 compared to 1990. Included in the 40% reduction is the contribution from carbon sequestration in the earth and forests.

Denmark’s total emissions of greenhouse gasses 1990-2025

The reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases is not least a result of a continued decline in consumption of fossil fuels as a consequence of the expansion of wind and biomass. Towards 2020, the consumption of coal, natural gas and to a lesser extent oil will decline by 30% compared to 2010.

The expected reduction of 40% in 2020 is higher than last year’s baseline projection, which showed a 37% reduction. The change is a result of slightly lower expectations for electricity consumption and an increased use of biomass relative to last year’s projection.

Denmark goes beyond the EU target for renewable energy

Denmark has made commitment to the EU that renewable energy must cover at least 30% of the so called gross final energy consumption in 2020. The baseline projection shows that Denmark in 2020 will have a renewable energy share above 40% in 2020, thus going above target by a large margin.

Consumption of renewable energy has increased steadily since 2000. This development will accelerate towards 2020. The greatest transition will take place in the electricity and district heating sector, where an additional expansion of biomass and wind energy is expected. Wind energy alone would be able to cover about 54% of electricity consumption in 2020 compared to about 40% today. Additionally, households will replace part of their existing oil and gas consumption with biomass and heat pumps, while companies transition part of their energy consumption for heating and process purposes towards biomass.

Denmark meets EU target for non-ETS sectors

Denmark has an EU target to reduce non-ETS greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 2005, as well as meet milestones during the period towards 2020. It is permitted to meet below the target in one year if one meets above target in another. The baseline projection shows that the target for the accumulated emissions will be met in the period between 2013-2020, despite an expectation of meeting slightly below the point goal in 2020.

Projection extrapolates the effect of current political decisions

The Danish Energy Agency’s baseline projection of Denmark’s energy consumption and emission of greenhouse gasses is not a forecast, instead it describes the progress, which, underlying a number of assumptions about technological developments, prices, economic developments etc., may take place in the coming years, if it is hypothetically assumed that no new initiatives or instruments will be implemented, apart from those already executed politically.

All elements in the Danish Energy Policy 2012 and government budgets reaching up to the government budget 2016, the Growth Plan DK as well as the Growth Package 2014, including the roll-back of the security of supply tax and a reduction of the PSO tax for businesses, have been included in the projection.

It must be underscored that there are great uncertainties in such long term projections, and that the uncertainty must be expected to increase during the projection period. The uncertainties derive, among others, from growth, price and technology conditions, which may develop differently than expected. The baseline projection 2015 contains sensitivity analyses, which show a Danish reduction of greenhouse gasses of 35-44% in 2020 compared to 1990.

- Download Denmark's Energy and Climate projections (in Danish)

Mikkel Sørensen
Center for Klima og Energiøkonomi
Tlf.: 33 92 67 26

Ture Falbe-Hansen
Center for Organisation
Tlf.: 25 13 78 46