Danish Energy Agency: 100% Renewable Denmark By 2050 Is Possible

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on Renew Economy.
By Sophie Vorrath


A new report by the Danish Energy Agency has found it would be technically possible to construct a secure and reliable national energy system based on 100 per cent renewables by 2050.

The report, Energy Scenarios for 2020, 2035 and 2050, compares the feasibility and cost of replacing coal, oil and natural gas with various different green energy scenarios, ranging from an electricity-based wind-power system to a fuel-based biomass system.

According to the report, all of the scenarios meet the vision of a fossil fuel independent energy system for Denmark by 2050, as well as the government’s goal of fossil fuel independent electricity and heating by 2035.

The costs of a fossil fuel independent energy supply in 2050 were calculated at around $A26.8-31.4 billion (DKK 136-159 billion)  – an amount, says the report, that includes investments, operating costs, fuel (including distribution), CO2, costs of energy savings, propulsion systems for all types of transport, energy-producing facilities in electricity, district heating, process and individual heating.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 12.17.13 PM

To meet the 2050 target, however, the report notes that a decision on the shape of Denmark’s energy future would need to be made shortly after 2020.

In the wind scenario, the report finds estimated that wind power capacity would have to be expanded by around one 400MW offshore wind farm a year from 2020 to 2050, while obsolete turbines would have to be replaced.

Despite this, the report finds that wind power has relatively low production costs per kWh in 2035 and 2050 – albeit slightly higher in total than the biomass scenario, due to derived costs of the expansion.

It would only take a 35 per cent increase in the price of biomass, however, for the wind and biomass scenarios to be equal. Similarly, a halving of the electricity grid costs would also make the wind and biomass scenarios equal.

In the hydrogen scenario, the report notes that expansion would have to take place at an even faster rate, while in the biomass scenario, the expansion rate would amount to one 400MW farm every three years.

All scenarios (except the fossil scenario) assume a total capacity of 2000MW photovoltaic solar modules in 2050, which the report says provide a system-related advantage when combined with wind power, due to differing production profiles.

And all of the scenarios assume ‘large’ energy savings, says the DEA. “Extra-large energy savings will lead to an increase in total costs in the wind scenario. However, there is large uncertainty about the costs of savings. If these costs are one-third lower, the total system costs with large and extra-large savings, respectively, will be equal,” says the report.

Consumption of natural gas was expected to fall dramatically from 2020, as coal and natural gas were phased out and the country’s gas infrastructure was instead used to distribute renewable-energy gases like biogas.

Electricity storage is not included in the Danish scenarios, the DEA finding that use of the electricity market – including hydropower storage
facilities abroad – and flexible electricity consumption were cheaper solutions.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Guest Contributor

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Guest Contributor has 4313 posts and counting. See all posts by Guest Contributor

17 thoughts on “Danish Energy Agency: 100% Renewable Denmark By 2050 Is Possible

  • Doesn’t seem to be that ambitious to be honest. I thought they would be aiming for 2040 or even 2035. Also the article mentions that 2000MW will be installed by 2050 but there is already 500MW installed in the country, with about 140MW of that installed last year. It seems the 2000MW will be reached by 2020 not 2050.

    • What are you talking about?

      ” … 2000MW will be installed by 2050 ….”

      MW of what?

      • Whoops. I meant 2000MW of solar.

        • Thanks!

          I think the 2 GW future PV-installation can’t be bet upon, prices for private installations have come down so far that even small scale PV-systems are beating already Danish grid prices.
          This causes more installations being installed without even asking for permission or FIT.

    • Ok so you make money on the link thru to try to sell stock. Please do not post.

      • Matt, if you see crap like the above please flag it and one of us will flush it sooner.

        • View source (the comment is only hidden when rendering).

  • Some of the surplus energy generated by wind power is already being stored as thermal energy in district heating systems. Replacing gas,coal and biomass in case the sun doesn’t shine:


  • Biomass sucks. It’s kiling millions thru starvation and malnutrition. Those who support it are evil (and ignorant) SOBs. About as green as coal power. Wind is environmentally obscene and has the largest environmental footprint on the planet and is far too expensive and unrelable. It’s also the great bird killer of our times. The EU is disallowing future subsidies for wind and solar. Goodbye wind.

    • FUD

  • This number 400 MW offshore annually over 30 years seems odd.
    First, they already sometimes cover all demand purely via wind.
    Second, their peak is about 4000 MW only, why would they want 400 x 30 MW more???

    • Wind doesn’t cover all energy demand by wind. The wind can cover ELETRICTY demand sometimes over the year, which is clearly not always. They are also factoring in an increase in electricity production since the entire transport network (planes, cars, shipping) and the heat network (house and business heating) will be electrified. The document is flawed since it assumes most electricity production will come from wind and ignores other method being deployed in large scale such as solar which they say only 200W will be built and anaerobic digestion which isn’t even mentioned in the document.

    • The idea is to sell electricity to make money.
      Ireland for example plans 8.5 GW wind power being installed until 2020, the entire island needs only at max. 3.5 GW.
      That is the wind power, additional sources like hydro, combustion,PV etc. are on top of this.

      Harvesting more than needed helps to fight (energy-) poverty.
      And an abundance of cheap RE make dangerous things like atomic power and fossile power uneconomical, unable to show profits for society.

      British atomic power will be blown out via cables from Ireland, Denmark, Norway and Germany/Belgium/Netherlands and even from France.

Comments are closed.