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Green record year for Danish electricity: lowest CO2 emissions ever

June 10, 2021

Never has Denmark emitted as little CO2 from its electricity production. In 2020, emissions were 13 per cent lower than the previous record last year. With energy production from wind turbines and solar panels constantly improving, the trend of lowering emissions continues.

For the second year in a row, Denmark reports the lowest CO2 emissions from its electricity production ever. In 2020, Danish-produced kilowatt-hour (kWh) emitted 117 grams of CO2, according to a new report by Energinet (in Danish), the Danish transmissions systems operator. In 2019, the emission was 135 grams per kWh.

Altogether, the Danish electricity production emitted 5,2 million tonnes of CO2, which is 0,7 tonnes or 13 per cent lower than the previous milestone year.

For every year, wind and solar power displace fossil fuels. As the energy production from wind turbines and solar panels continues to improve, our CO2-emission continues to decrease”, says Katja Birr-Pedersen, Head of Analysis and Models at Energinet.

An average Danish kilowatt-hour last year came from 45 per cent wind, 4 per cent solar, 15 per cent hydropower and 13 per cent biomass, making it the greenest composition ever.

– related news: A record year: Wind and solar supplied more than half of Denmark’s electricity in 2020

Wind and solar continues to lead change
The electricity record was largely achieved due to the high degree of renewables constituting the power coming out of Danish sockets. In total, a little more than 50 per cent of Denmark’s electricity was powered by wind and solar in 2020. Onshore and offshore wind turbines produced just over 46 per cent of Denmark’s consumption of electricity.

In ten years, the share of wind and solar power in Danish electricity consumption has doubled, and it is expected that the production of electricity based on renewables will be enough to cover all of Denmark’s electricity consumption by 2030. To this end, The Danish government has made ambitious plans, including the establishment of two energy islands by 2030. The islands will expand Denmark’s capacity by at least 4 GW.

Supplementary, the Nordic electricity prices in 2020 were extraordinarily low, which entailed a greater Danish import of hydro-powered electricity from Norway and Sweden.

– related news: North Sea energy island will supply green electricity to millions of households

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