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Lowest Danish energy consumption in 32 years

News   •   Mar 27, 2015 00:00 CET

Press Release:

Observed energy consumption fell again in 2014, and this is the lowest energy consumption in Denmark since 1983. At the same time, consumption of coal and natural gas fell drastically and thereby CO2 emissions too. These figures are from the Danish Energy Agency’s preliminary energy statistics for 2014. The preliminary statistics also show a continued increase in the use of renewables.

Observed Danish energy consumption fell by 4.7% to 723 PJ in 2014. This is the lowest level since 1983. This development is primarily due to the fact that net imports of electricity were just over 2½-times higher in 2014 than in 2013, so a smaller percentage of electricity consumption was covered by domestic power plants. This resulted in a lower consumption of coal and coke, which dropped by 17.3%, while consumption of natural gas dropped by 14.2%. At the same time, consumption of renewable energy increased by 1.6%.

Gross energy consumption adjusted for fluctuations in climate and fuel consumption linked to foreign trade in electricity, which shows the long-term trend, was at par with 2013. Except for a slight increase in 2010, adjusted gross energy consumption has been decreasing since 2007.

Figure: Observed Danish energy consumption and adjusted gross energy consumption for the period 1990-2014.

Drop in CO2 emissions and greenhouse gas emissions

As a consequence of the higher net imports of electricity, and lower coal and gas consumption, observed emissions of CO2 fell by 7.7% in 2014. Adjusted CO2 emissions were almost unchanged compared to 2013.

On the basis of the preliminary energy statistics, total observed Danish emissions of greenhouse gases are estimated to have dropped by 5.9% in 2014, whereas emissions adjusted for climate and fuel consumption linked to foreign trade in electricity are estimated to be almost unchanged. The official statement of greenhouse gas emissions is published by the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE).

Continued increase in the use of renewables

Renewable energy’s share of energy consumption continues to increase. Renewable energy’s share of adjusted gross energy consumption increased from 24.4% in 2013 to 25.2% in 2014, primarily as a result of the expansion of wind power and solar energy.

The EU calculate the percentage of renewable energy differently, taking final energy consumption as the point of departure. It is currently not possible to calculate this percentage, but it will be included in the final energy statistics to be published by the Danish Energy Agency in the autumn. In recent years, the renewable energy share according to the EU calculation method has been around 1-2 percentage points higher than in the national statement based on adjusted gross energy consumption.

The degree of self-sufficiency is still falling

The degree of self-sufficiency for energy fell in 2014 from 93% to 90%. This means that total Danish production of energy in the form of oil, natural gas and renewable energy corresponded to 90% of Denmark's gross energy consumption in 2014.

Denmark became self-sufficient in energy in 1997, and in 2004 Denmark produced 56% more energy than it consumed. Since 2004, the degree of self-sufficiency has dropped due to falling production from the North Sea, and since 2013, Denmark has consumed more energy than it produces. Degree of self-sufficiency is a measure of the ratio between primary energy production and consumption of oil, natural gas, coal, renewables and waste in Denmark. Looking at the ratio between consumption and production of oil and gas, Denmark continues to be a net exporter; with a degree of self-sufficiency of 128% in 2014.

Total primary energy production in Denmark fell by 3.9% to 682 PJ in 2014. Production of crude oil and natural gas fell by 6.4% and 3.6%, respectively, while production of renewable energy grew by 1.9% in 2014 relative to 2013.

See table of facts with the preliminary statements of Danish energy production, energy consumption and CO2 emissions in 2014.

table of facts with the preliminary statements of Danish energy production, energy consumption and CO2 emissions in 2014

Jane Rusbjerg
Center for Klima og Energiøkonomi
Tlf.: 33 92 68 36

Ture Falbe-Hansen
Tlf.: 25 13 78 46