Denmark to offer compensation to wind turbine neighbours

Denmark’s government has suggested financial compensation to local communities in areas where green energy is produced.

Denmark to offer compensation to wind turbine neighbours
Denmark's government says it wants to recognise local opposition to green energy installations by offering more compensation to affected residents. File photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Onshore wind turbines and solar panel farms often opposed by people who live near their proposed locations, sometimes resulting in debate and campaigns against the projects.

The government is now prepared to address local concerns with specific measures aimed at recompensing neighbours to green energy production sites, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports.

Minister for Housing and the Interior, Christian Rabjerg Madsen, told the newspaper that monetary compensation would be offered to persons who live in areas earmarked for wind and sun energy farms.

“We have, on several occasions, agreed between the [minority] government and parliamentary partners to increase the bonus for living close to sustainable energy facilities,” Madsen said.

“At the same time, we will use the planning laws to create higher grades of freedom and more [legal] framework,” he said.

Planning laws could be skirted to help residents in affected areas by, for example, allowing housing to be built on open land, in order to support local projects, the minister explained.

A government initiative will also aim to inform municipalities about successful green projects in other areas, he noted.

Additionally, the appeals system will be boosted so that objections to sustainable energy construction proposals will be processed by the relevant appeals boards within six months. The government has set aside an extra 25.5 million kroner to this end in 2025 and 2026.

Areas with a large number of sustainable energy projects will be eligble for 10 million kroner of state support from the so-called Rural District Fund (Landdistriktpuljen).

A parliamentary majority last month reached an agreement over the planning laws. At the time, Madsen said the government wanted to make it easier to install wind and solar energy farms.

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Denmark to ban caged egg production by 2035

Denmark is to follow a rule banning new cage egg farms from next year with a total ban on the farming method by 2035.

Denmark to ban caged egg production by 2035

In a statement, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries said that is would ban new cage egg farms from next year.

A full ban will come into place following a 12-year transitional period to “ensure proper conversion of production”, the ministry said.

“We wanted to phase out cage eggs as soon as possible. But we have a genuine responsibility to producers of cage eggs,” the agriculture minister, Rasmus Prehn, told news wire Ritzau.

The 12-year transition will avoid instances of expropriation by giving farmers time to fund and make the switch, according to Prehn.

Supermarket Lidl chose to remove cage eggs from its shelves as long ago as 2015, according to broadcaster DR. Other supermarket chains including Coop and Dansk Supermarked have since followed that decision, meaning most supermarkets in Denmark no longer stock eggs from hens in cages.

The EU banned battery cages in 2012, but hens can still be kept in larger cages, termed “enriched” or “furnished” cages, for the production of eggs, in line with the EU directive that banned battery production.

Production of cage eggs in Denmark has fallen from 61 percent of total egg production in 2010 to 13 percent in 2021, according to DR.

That is an underestimate in comparison to the ministry press release, which states that seven producers of cage eggs in Denmark were responsible for 17 percent of Denmark’s total egg production last year.

While most supermarkets have stopped selling cage eggs, they are still often used by restaurants, catering businesses, food factories and pharmaceutical companies, the ministry states.

“Cage hens live – as the name suggests – their whole lives in small cages with limited space to flap their wings. Denmark is in many ways a forefront country within agriculture, and this must also be the case when it comes to animal welfare,” Prehn said in the press statement.