Europe 2020: Renewable Energy Plans - Former wind pioneer could be more ambitious

DENMARK: Under the EU renewable energy directive, Denmark must increase the share of energy supplied by renewables to 30% by 2020, compared to 17% in 2005.

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The prognosis is good. According to its National Renewable Energy Action Plan, the country will achieve the increase primarily through existing energy schemes and strategies. Wind energy already supplies some 20% of electricity in Denmark and there is more installed wind capacity per person than anywhere else. This year, it expects to supply 12.4TWh of electricity from 4.6GW of installed renewables capacity.

In 2020, it targets 20.6TWh from 6.8GW of installed renewables. Of that, 11.7TWh will be produced by 3.96GW of wind, including 1.3GW offshore. Those figures highlight that though total wind capacity will rise by only about 13% from the current 3.5GW, projected electricity output will increase by about a third, thanks to more efficient new turbines and output from wind-rich offshore projects. According to the action plan, renewables - primarily wind and biomass - will supply 51.9% of electricity by 2020.

Still, the green energy industry wants more. Planned 2020 renewables capacity is expected to push the share of green energy to 28.3%, short of the 30% target. The Danish Wind Industry Association argues that wind power has greater potential. "By setting more ambitious targets, we could maintain a leading role in the global market for energy technology," says chairman Jan Hylleberg.

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