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The history behind Denmark's green transition

The history behind Denmark's green transition

Sustainable economic growth and security of energy and water supply are among the greatest global challenges today. As the first country in the world, Denmark has decided to lead the transition and become a green and resource efficient economy entirely independent of fossil fuels by 2050.


Sharing solutions for green growth
This ambitious goal rests on solid rock. Completely dependent on imported oil for decades, Denmark was severely affected by the oil crises of the 1970s. It was decided to take a new path to meet growing energy needs and, at the same time, to cater for environmental concerns. As a result, green issues such as energy efficiency, renewables, waste and resource management, clean air and water and sustainable cities have become deeply embedded in the mindsets of the Danes. And time has shown that economic and environmental policies can indeed go hand in hand. Since 1980, Denmark has grown to become a global leader in the development of new sustainable technologies and solutions. During the same period, the Danish economy has grown by almost 80 per cent without increasing gross energy consumption. Denmark is proud to be able to share its solutions and inspire nations, companies and citizens all over the world to invest in green growth.
Fossil free by 2050
Denmark’s decision to become independent of fossil fuels by 2050 is backed by an ambitious policy framework as well as a multiple-solutions approach. The ambitious goal will be reached by increasing energy efficiency and resource optimisation; by expanding the share of renewable energy from sources such as wind and biomass; and by driving the development of an intelligent energy system capable of managing the fluctuations of renewable energy. No single technology can ever do the trick all by itself – no matter how innovative and effective it is. Danish companies know that. Instead, they successfully complement each other. As a result, Denmark has become a global leader in producing integrated end-to-end solutions to match the growing needs internationally.

Join the Future. Think Denmark

Intelligent Energy

Intelligent energy is all about managing energy more efficiently than ever before.Demand for energy keeps growing worldwide, and the use of it must become more sustainable.

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Wind Power

Denmark was the first country to install wind turbines more than 30 years ago and has been first mover in the wind industry for decades. On- and offshore wind turbines provide more than 28 per cent of Denmark’s electricity consumption today.

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Energy Efficiency

The cheapest and most environment-friendly form of energy is the one not used. Improved energy efficiency is an obvious step towards becoming independent of fossil fuels.

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Heating & Cooling

The need for heating or cooling of residential and commercial buildings exists everywhere. Centralising heating and power systems lowers costs and reduce emissions.

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In a future low-carbon economy, a combination of biomass, biogas and biofuels can play a significant role and contribute substantially to the global energy supply.

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Solar & Other Renewables

The sun, waves and geothermal heat are energy sources that will never run out. These can contribute to securing energy supplies and smoothen the transition to a fossil-free economy.

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Climate adaptation

Climate change is one of the most serious global challenges facing our society. Its consequences impact populations all over the world who need to adjust to increasing temperatures, rising sea water levels, longer periods of drought as well as stronger storms and other extreme weather incidents.

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Water is a scarce but essential resource that is under increasing pressure. According to the UN, the global water consumption will increase by 30 per cent by 2030 due to population growth and increased wealth.

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Sustainable transportation

Transport is the backbone of our economy and society. It enables trade, which is essential for societal growth and development. Every day, we move ourselves through means of transport, be it for work or pleasure, or to freight goods between companies, countries and continents. The challenge is not to curb transport but to make it sustainable, thus independent of fossil fuels.

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Environment & Resources

With limited resources and a global population expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, taking care of the environment will only become more essential in the future. Dynamic action on several fronts is therefore necessary to create sustainable economic growth and new jobs on a global scale while tackling environmental challenges.

Read more about Environment & Resources

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