Denmark Will be the First 100% Renewable Country

published Nov 18, 2014
1 min read

 A Great Dream


Danes have a dream: making Denmark completely independent from fossil fuels and polluting energy sources by leveraging on renewables. This is the most ambitious project ever conceived, but Danes are not waiting idly by for the change to happen; they are actively moving to make it happen by 2050. Many countries have renewable energy plans, but Denmark retains the leading position, with more than 40% of its energy coming from renewables.

Structuring the Plan

The plan aims at substituting any form of fossil fuel with renewable energy resources. The energy produced will be used not only as a powering and heating source, but also for transportation. This is a major turning point, since no other plan includes transportation. Furthermore, governmental institutions also support electric cars, although the first attempt to introduce them had not used up its full potential.

… Some Challenges

Some concerns center around the impact of such a move on traditional power plants that serve as a backup when sun and wind are insufficient. The price of operating such plants could reach levels that make it economically unreasonable to use them. However, such energy may still be needed during the year.

Another point is the fact that at present, Denmark benefits from the supply of cheap energy from the surrounding countries, namely nuclear energy from Sweden, and hydroelectricity from Norway. However, this situation seems to change soon since Swedish politicians are willing to dismantle nuclear centrals, and the UK is buying increasing amounts of Norwegian electricity.

Careful Redesigning is the Key for Success

The Danish government is aware of the risks that this situation can bring about, if no immediate and effective action is taken. However, the next moves are not easy to decide upon, as this is a matter to manage carefully. Accidental blackouts caused by a strong push towards renewable energy solutions may dramatically diminish people’s confidence and commitment to the programs.

This can end up in a failed economic shift, as it happened in California. It is therefore fundamental that policy makers deeply analyze the environment,  shape the transition step by step without underestimating any element. Denmark has already shown over the years to possess great capabilities and skills to manage renewables, profoundly believing in the need for change. There are all the key elements for a successful plan implementation, keeping a cautious eye on process roll-out and management.