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Denmark on track to achieve 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030

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Renewable Energy

Denmark is well on its way to achieving 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030, according to new research from GlobalData. 

The country is unlikely to be the only one in the Nordics to achieve that feat, with Norway and Iceland already near 100% renewable generation, but it would mark a notable improvement for the small European nation. 

In 2014, Denmark saw just 45% of its electricity come from a renewable source – namely wind power. However, that has grown quite significantly, with the country seeing renewables responsible for 86.4% of its electricity last year, with that set to grow to 99.9% in 2030. 

But just how much power can Denmark produce from renewables and how does it compare to the UK? 

Well, Denmark is expected to increase its renewable electricity generation from 24.33 TWh in 2020 to 43.2 TWh by 2030. Unfortunately for the UK, 43.2 TWh is not nearly enough to provide power for the entire country, as if it was, it would have already achieved the feat of switching to renewables. 

In 2020, renewables generated 134.3 TWh of electricity in the UK, accounting for a record 43% share. However, it’s quite an uphill climb to reach a 100% share in the UK, with the Climate Change Committee currently estimating that renewables will account for just 87% of the country’s electricity in 2030, compared to the 99.9% in Denmark. 

Rohit Ravetkar, Power Analyst at GlobalData, commented, “Denmark is among the global leaders in the adoption of renewable technologies. In 2020, more than 80% of the power generated in the country came from renewable power sources. A significant portion of renewable growth in Denmark is attributed towards wind power.”

It’s no surprise to see Denmark on track to reach 100% renewables, as the country is a global leader in wind power technology. Large wind turbine manufacturing companies, such as Vestas and Siemens, have bases in Denmark, and the country possesses both onshore and offshore wind farms. As of 2020, onshore wind farms are ahead of offshore wind farms in terms of installed capacity, but the government is focusing on increasing the share of offshore wind capacity. As a result, offshore wind capacity is expected to overtake onshore in 2029.

Ravetkar added, “The country aims to phase out coal-based and oil-based power plants by 2030. Also, as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement, Denmark has pledged in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030 in comparison to 2005 levels. These factors have propelled the growth of the renewable energy sector in the country. Along with wind power, other potential growth areas are solar PV and biomass power generation. Commercial solar PV installations are expected to show strong growth. Denmark’s leading power utility, Orsted AS, is converting its thermal power plants into biopower generation units. Vattenfall, another leading utility in the country, is also selling off its thermal power plants and investing in offshore wind technology.”

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