Denmark’s energy bill payouts delayed until end of summer

Emergency payouts by the Danish government to families hard-hit by high energy prices will not arrive in accounts until August this year at the earliest.

Denmark’s energy bill payouts delayed until end of summer
Danish energy minister Dan Jørgensen said he regrets political procedure holding up payouts of one-off cash benefits for households impacted by high energy prices. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Parliament in February agreed on a deal for so-called ‘acute’ one-off cash payments to families struggling to pay heating bills amid a major bump in energy prices.

The one-off sum of 3,750 kroner will be given to around 320,000 households in Denmark after a majority in parliament agreed on the measure in February.

But the money, intended to help cash flow during the winter when heating is most expensive, will not be paid out until the end of the summer. That follows earlier reports that a political deal agreed in February to provide for the payouts would not be passed by parliament until May.

The payments will now go through in August and September at the earliest.

“When we made the agreement I was convinced that we could get the money out faster than it has turned out to be possible,” climate, energy and critical supplies minister Dan Jørgensen said to news wire Ritzau.

“I’d like to apologise for that. Because there are many people out there with a legitimate expectation to receive the money,” he said.

“But there are many things that must be resolved in relation to, for example, data management, so it can’t be done faster,” he said.

Jørgensen has meanwhile summoned the other political parties to fresh talks on possibly broadening the financial assistance. The Socialist People’s party, an ally of the government, this weekend signalled it wanted to spend more on the measure.

“Since we reached the agreement on a targeted one-off heating bill payout, the situation has got significantly worse. There’s a war in Europe and energy prices are still very, very high,” he said.

“We must therefore look at (increasing the financial response). We will have negotiations about this,” he said.

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Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

EU members Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium on Wednesday said they wanted to increase their North Sea wind power capacity tenfold by 2050 to help the bloc achieve its climate goals and avoid Russian hydrocarbons.

Denmark and three other EU nations want to increase North Sea wind power tenfold by 2050

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the plan would mean the four countries would “deliver more than half of all offshore wind needed to reach climate neutrality in the European Union”.

The increase would make the North Sea “the green power plant of Europe”, she told a news conference in the port of Esbjerg in western Denmark.

“Setting a vision is not enough, we will make it happen,” Frederiksen added, flanked by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, Dutch premier Mark Rutte and Belgian leader Alexander De Croo.

The countries’ goal is to raise wind power capacity fourfold to 65 gigawatts by 2030 and then tenfold to almost 150 gigawatts by 2050.

They said 150 gigawatts of offshore wind power would supply 230 million homes with electricity.

Such a capacity would amount to 15,000-20,000 wind turbines, based on the most powerful ones currently on the market.

The announcement comes as the European Commission presented a plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy worth 210 billion euros ($220 billion) to reduce the bloc’s dependence on Russian gas as quickly as possible.

The European Union has already said it will end imports of Russian coal by August.

An embargo on Russian oil as part of a sixth sanctions package against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine is proving more contentious after Hungary raised objections.

The commission has said it wants to reduce purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and completely before 2030.

On Wednesday it proposed to increase the proportion of renewable energies in the bloc’s energy mix from 40 percent to 45 percent by 2030.

The 27-nation EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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