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Lack of windy weather in 2001 leads to increase in Denmark's CO2 emissions
1 May 2002
The wind blew 20% less in Denmark in 2001 than in a statistically "normal" wind year, meaning Danish CO2 emissions increased by 700,000 tonnes. Instead of reducing emissions year on year by 3.5 million tonnes, as in 2000, they were reduced by just 2.8 million tonnes last year. The figures are revealed in a report on energy consumption and CO2 emissions in 2001 carried out by the Danish energy agency. According to the agency, energy consumption in Denmark increased by 2% in 2001, while CO2 emissions increased by 3%. There were three reasons for this bad news for the environment. First, the weather was colder last year than in 2000, thus more energy was consumed. Second, Denmark was a net exporter of electricity in 2001, contrary to 2000 in which all the wind power produced offset emissions at home. Third, there was 20% less wind with a corresponding drop in expected production from wind plant. In a normal wind year, CO2 emissions would have been 0.7 million tonnes less, according to the energy agency. Corrected to a statistically typical annual energy balance and a normal wind year, consumption of electricity in Denmark actually decreased 1.1% in 2001, while CO2 emissions decreased by 1.3%. Economic growth over the past two years in Denmark has been 1.2%. Thus the trend started two years ago, which indicates that Denmark has broken the vicious circle between economic growth, increased energy use and increased pollution, appears to be confirmed. In 1990 Denmark set a goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in 2005 compared to 1988. The total decrease since then has now reached 12.2%.
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