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Denmark: Full speed ahead with the green transition - large drop in energy consumption and CO2 emmissions in 2012

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Denmark has become more energy efficient. The share of renewable energy is on the increase and greenhouse gas emissions are falling. Energy Statistics for 2012 make for encouraging reading, says Climate, Energy and Building Minister Martin Lidegaard. It proves that things are moving in the right direction.

The actual energy consumption fell in 2012 by 4.2 percent. When one takes into account changes in gross domestic product (GDP) the energy efficiency improved by 2.6 percent compared to the previous year. We currently use roughly the same amount of energy as in 1990, but, bearing in mind that there has been considerable economic growth since then, we now use 30.7 percent less energy per unit of GDP.

"The development has been underway for several decades, and the 2012 statistics indicate that we are on the right track. It is good for the climate and the economy, and it is a development which we can all be very proud of. But we are far from finished. With the energy agreement and the actionplan for growth, we further bolster our efforts to improve energy efficiency," says Minister for Climate, Energy and Building Martin Lidegaard.

Increase in the consumption of renewable energy
Consumption of renewable energy increased in 2012 by 5.4% to 184 PJ, with increases in consumption of wind-power, wood pellets, wood waste and wood chips. According to the EU method of calculation, renewables accounted for 25.8% of energy consumption in 2012, against 23.1% in 2011.

At the same time electricity production based on renewable energy accounted for 43.1% of domestic electricity supply in 2012, of which wind power contributed 29.8%. CO2 emissions have also fallen. A provisional estimate of the actual total greenhouse gas emissions shows a decrease of 8.1 percent in the period 2011 to 2012. Since 1990, emissions have fallen by 25.4 percent.

"It is gratifying that greenhouse gas emissions show a decline. But if we are to live up to the recommendations that we receive from climate scientists, we must continue to reduce these emissions. We can still do more - not least in agriculture and transport," says Martin Lidegaard.

Denmark is still the only country in the EU to be net self-sufficient in energy. But with the production of crude oil and natural gas in the North Sea dwindling, self-sufficiency in terms of the total energy output fell from 108 percent in 2011 to 102 percent in 2012.

"For many years, revenues from oil and gas production laid a solid foundation for the Danish economy. The situation is changing, and this is another argument for the conversion of our energy sector. We must use the resources we have, and these are primarily wind and biomass. The green transition is also about our need to be an economically sustainable society in the future," says Martin Lidegaard.