Wind Contributes to Danish Renewable Energy Consumption Increase

Wind Contributes to Danish Renewable Energy Consumption Increase

Consumption of renewable energy increased in 2011 by 2.5% to 174 PJ in part as a result of a large increase in wind-power production. According to the EU method of calculation, renewable accounted for 23.6% of energy consumption in 2011, against 22.1% in 2010. At the same time electricity production based on renewable energy accounted for 40.7% of domestic electricity supply in 2011, of which wind power contributed 28.1%. These were just some of the statistics appearing in Energy Statistics 2011, which was published by the Danish Energy Agency on September 24.

The February 2008 energy agreement included the goal that renewable energy was to cover at least 20% of adjusted gross energy consumption by 2011. This goal was met in that the percentage of renewable energy was actually 21.8% in 2011.

Falling energy consumption

Observed energy consumption dropped by 6.4% to 792 PJ in 2011 and was almost down to the 1990 level. The large decrease is because the weather was warmer in 2011 than in 2010, and there was a larger contribution from wind power. Furthermore, Denmark was a net importer of electricity in 2011 and therefore used less fuel at power plants.

The Danish Energy Agency also calculates adjusted energy consumption, in which it adjusts for fluctuations in climate and foreign trade in electricity. Adjusted energy consumption, which describes the underlying trends, dropped by 0.9% in 2011 to 807 PJ. The drop was primarily due to lower transformation losses, as wind power accounts for a larger proportion of electricity supply.

The goal on the 2008 energy agreement was for adjusted gross energy consumption to fall by 2% from 2006 to 2011. Gross energy consumption was reduced by 6.6% over the period, thereby exceeding the goal by a large margin.

As GDP grew by 0.8% in 2011, energy efficiency improved by 1.7% in 2011. Energy efficiency improvements over the past two decades mean that each unit of GDP required 28.5% less energy in 2011 than in 1990.

Decrease in emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases

Observed CO2 emissions from energy consumption fell in 2011 by 10.6% to 44.3 mill. tonnes, while adjusted CO2 emissions fell by 2.8%. Since 1990 adjusted CO2 emissions have been reduced by 25.2%. A preliminary statement of Denmark’s total observed emissions of greenhouse gases shows a decrease from 2010 to 2011 of 8.6%. Compared with the baseline year (1990/95) there has been a fall of 19.5%.

Energy production and degree of self-sufficiency fell

Danish production of crude oil, natural gas and renewable energy etc. fell by 9.8% in 2011 to 887 PJ. In 2011 Denmark was the only EU member state to be energy self-sufficient. The degree of self-sufficiency for energy for Denmark was 110% in 2011 compared with 121% in the previous year. This means that energy production was 10% higher than energy consumption in 2011.


Press release, September 26, 2012; Image: Vestas