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Mixed empty message over renewables from Danish government
1 December 2006
A positive sounding declaration on future wind power policy in Denmark by right wing prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen during his opening speech to parliament was more or less contradicted just a few days later by his transport and energy minister, Flemming Hansen. While Fogh Rasmussen said the government "will set ambitious goals to secure Denmark a future based on a self-generated supply of environmentally correct energy," Hansen sees no requirement for specific action to achieve the aims of "a strongly increased use of renewable energy," as the prime minister promised. In his speech, Fogh Rasmussen said Denmark's world leadership in renewables should be exploited. But to judge by Hansen's answers to a series of parliamentary questions there is no reason for hurry, neither to re-inject life into the long dormant domestic wind market or clear the site permit barriers preventing the government's program for replacing old wind plant with new from taking effect. Hansen says there is no need to compensate wind power for its environmental benefits since consumer prices already reflect the cost of carbon pollution through Denmark's participation in the EU's Emissions Trading System. Furthermore, he does not intend to intervene in the current five year repowering program, even though it has taken two years for just 20 MW of 175 MW of old wind plant within the program to be replaced. Whether Fogh Rasmussen's promised new energy policy will include method or money, or just set "new ambitious goals," remains to be seen.
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