In This Chapter

Struggles in Denmark’s transition towards a low carbon future

Shifts in the energy technology assemblage

Authored by: Peter Karnøe , Jens Stissing Jensen

Handbook of Transitions to Energy and Climate Security

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781857437454
eBook ISBN: 9781315723617
Adobe ISBN:


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In 2015, Denmark set a world record when wind power generated 42.1% of the nation’s total electricity. 2 For 16% of the time, wind power alone generated more than 100% of the electricity demand in western Denmark, and excess electricity could be sold and transmitted to neighbouring countries like Norway, Germany and Sweden. This high level of wind power penetration has enabled the country to shift away from the use of fossil fuel-based power plants to generate electricity, and is the main reason that Denmark is the top-ranked country based on the Climate Change Performance Index created by Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch for 2015. 3 The ranking is based on factors such as overall development of a CO 2emissions strategy, electricity generation from renewable sources, energy efficiency, and an ambitious and consistent climate policy. The recent ranking was based on 2013 statistics, which reflected the cumulative effects of past policies driven by social democratic governments, sometimes with pressure from left wing and green parties. The assessment also highlighted Denmark’s 2012 Energy Agreement, which cemented a broad political compromise for reducing CO2 emissions through energy efficiency by combining electricity and heat generation and making wind power the core energy technology in the future low carbon energy system.

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