News & Events

The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Denmark: Large drop in energy consumption and CO2 emissions in 2012

Share this Post:

Increase in net imports of electricity as well as more wind power, led to a drop in observed energy consumption in Denmark in 2012 of 4.5%, a large drop in coal consumption of 23.4% and a drop in emissions of CO2 of 10.3%. Continued increase in renewable energy.

Observed Danish energy consumption fell by 4.5% to 756 PJ in 2012, compared with 2011. This development covers a drop in oil consumption of 4.3%, while consumption of natural gas and coal fell by 6.5% and 23.4% respectively. At the same time, consumption of renewable energy rose by 3.1%. This appears from the Danish Energy Agency’s provisional energy statistics for 2012.

The change in energy consumption reflects that the net import of electricity was 19 PJ in 2012, the highest level since 1990. Also, it was colder in 2012 than in 2011. Furthermore, in 2012 there was an increase in electricity production from wind turbines, and this contributed to a fall in fuel consumption of coal at large-scale CHP plants. The change in energy consumption also reflects the fact that economic activity, measured as the gross domestic product (GDP), fell by 0.6% from 2011 to 2012.

Adjusted for fluctuations in climate (degree days) and foreign trade in electricity, gross energy consumption fell in 2012 by 3.3% to 781 PJ. The energy intensity in the Danish economy is therefore still falling. Adjusted gross energy consumption fell by 4.7% from 1990 to 2012. Over the same period GDP grew by 38.0%. Therefore, in 2012 each unit of GDP accounted for approx. 30% less energy than in 1990.  

Higher percentage of renewables
Renewables share of total fuel consumption is still increasing. Renewable energy’s share of adjusted gross energy consumption rose from 21.8% in 2011 to 22.9% in 2012. This is primarily due to an increase in use of biodiesel, wood pellets and wind power. In addition, there is a significant increase of 450 per cent from 2011 to 2012 in the total capacity of solar photovoltaic.

The EU calculates this percentage differently, taking final energy consumption as the point of departure. It is currently not possible to calculate this percentage, but it will be included in the final energy statistics to be published by the Danish Energy Agency in the autumn. In recent years, the renewable energy share according to the EU calculation method has been around 2 percentage points higher than in the national statement based on adjusted gross energy consumption.

Fall in CO2 emissions
Observed emissions of CO2 from energy consumption fell in 2012 by 10.3%. When adjusted for foreign trade in electricity and fluctuations in climate, CO2 emissions fell in 2012 by 4.4%. Since 1990, adjusted CO2 emissions from energy consumption have fallen by 28.3%.

The provisional energy statistics contain an estimate of the changes in Denmark’s total emissions of greenhouse gases from 2011 to 2012. For 2012, observed emissions of greenhouse gases are estimated at 51.7 million tonnes CO2 equivalent, against 56.3 million tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2011, corresponding to a fall of 8.1%. When adjusted for fluctuations in climate and foreign trade, emissions fell by 3.5% in 2012. Compared to the base year (1990/1995), observed and adjusted emissions of greenhouse gases fell by 25.4% and 27.9%, respectively.

The breakdown between greenhouse gas emissions from ETS and non-ETS activities will be available in the final statistics, which the Danish Energy Agency will publish in the autumn. This statement is relevant in order to assess how well Denmark is satisfying its Kyoto climate commitment.

Drop in energy production
Total Danish production of primary energy fell by 6.5% to 830 PJ in 2012. Production of crude oil and natural gas fell by 7.7% and 9.0%, respectively, while production of renewable energy grew by 1.9% in 2012.

In 2012 the degree of self sufficiency was 106%. In other words, in 2012, Danish energy production was 6% higher than Danish energy consumption. The degree of self sufficiency was 110% in 2011.

Rising energy prices and lower trade surplus in energy products
In 2012, the price of crude oil, measured in terms of USD/barrel, rose by 0.4%. Measured in terms of DKK, the average price of crude oil (Brent) rose from DKK 596 per barrel in 2011 to DKK 663 per barrel in 2012, corresponding to a 11.3% rise. The average Nord Pool price of electricity in Denmark fell in 2012 by 25.5% to DKK 0.27 per kWh.

The trade surplus from foreign trade in energy rose in 2012 to DKK 5.1 billion, against DKK 4.3 billion in 2011.