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ENERGY

Danish government proposes giant 800MW wind farm

The Danish government has presented plans to build a giant 800MW offshore wind farm over the coming decade which will generate enough electricity to supply 800,000 households.

Danish government proposes giant 800MW wind farm
An offshore wind farm managed by the Danish energy firm Ørsted. Photo: Ørsted
The farm, which will be twice the size of Denmark’s current largest, will be put out to tender in 2021 and built  between 2024 and 2027. The government has yet to decide on where the farm will be based. 
 
The farm is the most eye-catching scheme in a government proposal published on Thursday, which it hopes will form the basis of a future energy agreement with opposition parties setting the direction for Denmark's energy policy from 2020 to 2030. 
 
“The government's long-term climate target is that Denmark must be a low-emission society by 2050 which does not emit greenhouse gases and is completely independent of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil,” Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said in a press release. 
 
“We must be able to cover at least half of Denmark's energy demand for renewable energy by 2030.” 
 
But the focus on wind generation comes alongside a sharp reduction in electricity taxes, which is unlikely to please environmentalists. 
 
The government hopes to cut the tax on electricity from 91 øre a kilowatt to 25 øre between 2019 and 2025, saving the average family 1500 Danish kroner a year, and also halve the tax on electric heating from 30 øre to 15 øre. 
 
Danish Energy, the country’s trade body for energy companies welcomed the plan. 
 
The proposal marks a new departure, where the green goes up, but the electricity bill goes down,” the body's chief executive Lars Aagaard said in a press release. 
 
His main criticism was that the government had failed to emphasise transport sufficiently. 
 
“If we want to we achieve our long-term climate ambitions and targets for energy efficiency, we need to consider cars powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels,” he said, pointing out that an electric car is three times as energy efficient.  
 
Pia Olsen Dyhr, chair of the Socialist People's Party, said the government’s claim that the proposal was “the greenest in Denmark’s history” was “pure gibberish”. 
 
“It is quite clear that it is far more important for the government to provide tax relief than to be be ambitious when it comes to solving the climate challenge and to create jobs in green companies,” she wrote in a blog post. 
 
“I'm deeply afraid that my daughter's going to come and knock on my door in 20 years furious that we did not do more to curb climate change.” 
 
 
 

ENERGY

Danish businesses and households share burden of high energy bills

Businesses and households alike face soaring energy bills in Denmark in 2021.

Lower-than-expected wind levels are among factors causing a combination of low supply and high demand for energy.
Lower-than-expected wind levels are among factors causing a combination of low supply and high demand for energy. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

New calculations from interest organisation Dansk Industri Energi show that industry is expected to pay 18 billion kroner for energy this year.

That is double the 9.5-billion kroner bill incurred in 2019, the last year to be unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s certain that this is being felt by businesses out there,” said sector director with Dansk Industri Energi, Troels Ranis.

A number of factors are behind escalating energy prices, which are impacting businesses and households alike.

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These include global economic growth following the end of the first wave of coronavirus lockdowns.

That has resulted in increased industrial activity and thereby high demand for energy.

This high demand has coincided with less wind and lower rainfall in Norway producing less sustainable energy; and a relatively constant supply of gas from Russia.

“The basic principle of economics is being manifested. A large demand and low supply gives high prices,” Ranis said.

High energy costs incurred by businesses are likely to be passed to customers, the sector director predicted.

“Prices go up. That’s the short of it. And that’s how it has to be when energy prices increase because this makes it more expensive to produce,” he said.

“And that is passed on to the price of products,” he added.

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