Danish opposition calls for tax cuts and cheap electricity to tackle crisis

Denmark’s opposition Liberal (Venstre) party has asked for tax cuts and lower electricity prices in talks with the government over a political deal to help people and companies through the ongoing energy crisis.

Danish opposition calls for tax cuts and cheap electricity to tackle crisis
Denmark's opposition has proposed new measures to tackle the energy crisis during ongoing negotiations with the government over a potential deal. Photo:Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The opposition party was in negotiations on Sunday with the government on new measures to help Denmark residents and companies to deal with rocketing electricity and gas prices.

The finance spokesperson for the Liberal party, Troels Schack Poulsen, said that “good and constructive” talks had involved his party’s demands being tabled.

“The first thing is that we put electricity taxes down to the EU’s minimum rate. That would benefit consumers in the situation we are in,” he said.

“And what is more than just delaying payments, we want to give some people actual money for themselves,” he said.

The government last week announced a proposal to allow households to delay payment of energy bills which exceed bills incurred last year. The difference would be repayable in instalments over a period of up to five years.

Calculations by Danske Bank have shown that reducing electricity taxes in Denmark to the EU’s minimum levels would save a typical family with two adults and two children up to 3,600 kroner per year.

The Liberal party wants to put the measure in place for six months, meaning possible savings of 1,800 kroner.

The party also wants to suspend tariffs imposed by Energinet, the state operator of Denmark’s energy infrastructure.

The tariff of 11 kilowatts per hour, which covers the company’s operations and administration expenses, would be suspended for nine months under the Liberal proposal.

Energinet has earned between two and three billion kroner from selling energy to Denmark’s neighbouring countries at high prices. Some of this revenue can be passed on to businesses and individuals, the Liberal party argues.

The party is against raising taxes on energy in the 2023 budget.

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Denmark and Germany announce plans for hydrogen pipeline

Germany and Denmark will work together to construct a pipeline to transport hydrogen between the two countries, ministers announced on Friday.

Denmark and Germany announce plans for hydrogen pipeline

Danish climate minister Lars Aagaard and German counterpart, Minister for the Economy and Climate Robert Habeck, briefed press on Friday after signing a declaration which could see a hydrogen pipeline between the countries completed by 2028.

“A big thank you to Germany when it comes to questions of energy and climate,” Aagaard said.

“We have the same interests in so many areas. Today we are taking it one step further,” he continued.

The declaration means the countries will work on an underground hydrogen pipeline between the Danish region of West Jutland and northern Germany.

The agreement sets out the general framework for the plan and who will lead it, according to Danish news wire Ritzau.

A Danish-German partnership over a hydrogen pipeline can be seen in a broader context of the Danish government’s plans relating to Power-to-X technology.

Power-to-X is the process by which electricity and water are converted into hydrogen using electrolysis. The hydrogen which is produced can be used as fuel in a number of ways, including as power for ferries, trucks and industry.

An agreement passed by the Danish parliament last year aims to build electrolysis capacity in the Nordic country to 4-6 gigawatts by 2030.

Germany already uses a large amount of hydrogen in its industry and will eventually need to convert from fossil fuel-produced hydrogen to hydrogen produced from sustainable sources such as wind and solar.

Demand for hydrogen power in Denmark is currently more limited.