Denmark — CleanTech pioneers from the north

Three people jump into the sea

Cooling down in Copenhagen, © dpa / picture alliance

11.03.2020 - Article

The European Commission is using the Green Deal to make Europe the first climate neutral continent. Businesses from Denmark have been showing for decades how to make money with green technology, also with joint projects with Germany.

First offshore windpark as early as 1991

Private-sector actors play a central role when it comes to meeting the EU climate targets. Danish businesses noticed early on that green technologies have enormous potential. The first offshore windpark was opened in the Danish part of the Baltic Sea as early as 1991. Last year, our northern neighbour met more than half of its energy needs using renewable sources. Globally, Denmark is one of the leading exporters of green technologies. In 2018, 7% of Denmark’s export revenue stemmed directly from the GreenTech sector.

Green pioneers “Made in Denmark”

The energy company Ørsted showed, for example, how to tap green technologies as a new business field. At the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Ørsted was proclaimed the world’s most sustainable company by the Canadian magazine Corporate Knights. Around a quarter of the world’s offshore windparks have been built by Ørsted. For many years, the company has been working to promote a strategic switch to green energy. In 2016, renewable energies accounted for some 50% of Ørsted’s production, the figure in 2019 had reached 85%. Ørsted is also active in Germany having invested some 5 billion euros building offshore windparks in the German part of the Baltic Sea since 2013. Ørsted is thus boosting the energy transition in Germany.

Shared infrastructure for the energy transition

For the energy transition to work, high-voltage network infrastructure has to be established which can transport regenerative electricity across European borders. This field offers vast potential for even closer German-Danish cooperation as can be seen currently in the border region.

Following a thorough preparatory phase, the Klixbüll-Endrup interconnector project will connect German and Danish transmission lines along the North Sea coast in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein. This cooperation project headed by German and Danish grid operators does not just promote the export of green energy to Germany but also strengthens energy security within the European Union. As Projects of Common Interest (PCI), the EU promotes projects which have a significant positive influence on the energy markets in at least two EU countries, are sustainable and boost competition.

2020: Decisive year for European climate policy

With its European Green Deal, the new European Commission has presented an ambitious plan to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. The series of steps to be introduced gradually range from decarbonising the energy sector to renovating buildings and introducing more environmentally friendly private and public transport. The Commission is using the targets laid down in the Paris Agreement as a guide. Defining the timetable will also be a central project for the German EU Council Presidency in the second half of the year. Denmark, which like Germany considers the climate to be a major priority for EU policy, will be one of our closest partners here.


Top of page