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Renewables Now Cover More than Half of Danish Electricity Consumption

By Ture Falbe-Hansen, November 26, 2015

Denmark’s observed energy consumption and carbon emissions fell in 2014 to the lowest level in modern times, and renewable energy covered a record percentage of electricity supply. These are headlines from Energy Statistics 2014, which were published by the Danish Energy Agency today.

Observed energy consumption in Denmark fell in 2014 by 5.3% to 719 PJ. This means that energy consumption was lower than it has been for more than 40 years. Among other things, the drop in energy consumption is because 2014 was a warm year, and Denmark had higher net imports of electricity than in the year before.

Adding the higher electricity production from wind power, this meant that fuel consumption to generate electricity fell by 11.6%. This trend covers a total drop in coal, oil and natural gas consumption of 25%, although consumption of renewable energy rose by 9.5% in 2014.

Energy intensity continues to fall
The Danish Energy Agency also calculates adjusted gross energy consumption, which is adjusted for fuel linked to foreign trade in electricity and fluctuations in climate with respect to a normal weather year. Adjusted gross energy consumption, which describes the underlying trends, dropped by 1.1% in 2014 to 755 PJ.

As gross domestic product (GDP) increased last year by 1.1%, falling energy consumption meant that energy efficiency improved in 2014 by 2.1%. The improvements in energy efficiency over recent decades mean that each unit of GDP required 34.6% less energy in 2014 than in 1990.

Gross Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions 1990 - 2014

Increasing consumption of renewable energy
Consumption of renewable energy increased from 2013 to 2014 by 2.8% to 192 PJ. This was not least due to increases in consumption of wood pellets and wind power generation last year of 5.9% and 17.6%, respectively. According to the EU method of calculation, renewables accounted for 28.5% of energy consumption in 2014, against 27.2% in 2013.

Production of electricity from renewables accounted for 53.4% of Danish domestic electricity supply in 2014. The largest contribution came from wind power at 38.8%, and biomass at 11.4%.

Drop in emissions of greenhouse gases
A preliminary statement of total Danish observed emissions of greenhouse gases shows a drop of 7.0% in 2014. Therefore observed emissions of greenhouse gasses have been reduced by 27.4% since 1990.

The large drop in the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas meant that the observed CO2 emissions from energy consumption fell by 9.3% in 2014 to 37.7 mill. tonnes. Adjusted for fluctuations in climate and fuel consumption linked to foreign trade in electricity, CO2 emissions fell by 2.7%. Since 1990, adjusted CO2 emissions have been reduced by 32.6%.

Drop in energy production and self-sufficiency rate
Danish production of crude oil, natural gas and renewable energy etc. fell by 3.6% in 2014 to 680 PJ. Production of crude oil and natural gas fell by 6.4% and 3.1%, respectively.

Denmark’s degree of self-sufficiency for energy was 90% in 2014 compared with 92% in the previous year. This means that Denmark’s own energy production was 10% less than energy consumption in 2014.

Read Energy Statistics 2014 (in Danish only)

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