The Danish Energy Agency was established in 1975 as an agency of the Danish Ministry of Transport and was in 2007 transferred to the newly created Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy The agency is headquartered in 44 Amaliegade.The agency is responsible for handling both national and international agreements and tasks linked to production, supply and consumption of energy, and is the responsible agency for efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. It oversees the legal and political frameworks for reliable, affordable and clean supply of energy in Denmark. Wikipedia.
News Article | March 9, 2016
The small country of Denmark (pop. 5.6 million) is making a big commitment to renewables. In the early 1970s imported oil supplied 92 percent of Denmark’s energy. Today Denmark’s electric grid is over 40 percent renewably powered, and the country is aiming to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable energy in all sectors by 2050. Denmark also plans to reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels–without the use of carbon credits—ten years ahead of the proposed EU target. Denmark is fortunate to have extremely good wind speeds—averaging 7.6 meters per second (California’s Altamont Pass wind farm sees 5.3 to 7.1 m/s, and power output rises as the cube of windspeed). The country has a goal for windpower to supply 50 percent of electricity consumption by 2020, and it is well on its way. In 2015, wind power supplied 42 percent of domestic electricity consumption. Denmark was the first country in the world to build massive offshore wind farms, installing a 5 MW wind farm two kilometers from the coastline in 1991. Since then the country has installed four other offshore wind farms bringing offshore wind capacity to 1,271 MW. The country also has over 300 onshore wind turbines bringing total wind capacity as of January 1, 2016 to 5,070 MW. To reach its goal of 50 percent wind power by 2020, the country has an initiative to deploy an additional 1,000 MW of offshore and 500 more MW of nearshore wind turbines, as well as to replace old onshore wind turbines with new higher-capacity ones. In order to avoid any potential local opposition to the onshore wind farm, the Danish government implemented various regulations to help with public acceptance. For example, residents are compensated if a property loses value due to wind turbines, the local community receives a payment per megawatt-hour of power generated, and at least 20 percent of the shares in a wind farm must be offered to local residents. Denmark is also a great example of how energy consumption can be decoupled from economic growth. Over the past 30 years, the country’s energy consumption has remained relatively stable, while gross domestic product has doubled. “Our continued efforts on energy conservation have greatly reduced our electricity demand,” according to Henning Parbo, Chief Economist for Energinet, the country’s electric and gas transmission system operator. “And Denmark is not characterized by high energy-intensive industry.” In fact, Denmark is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the EU and the OECD, partly because many Danish companies have optimized their industrial processes, facilities, and equipment. Denmark’s goal is to reduce its final energy consumption by 7 percent in 2020 compared to 2010. The different energy sectors in Denmark—oil, electricity, natural gas, and district heating—are each assigned a share of energy savings to reach depending on their market share. The trade associations for those sectors then delegate responsibility for those savings to its member companies, also based on market share. The country also quadrupled new buildings’ thermal efficiency from 1977, and forbade oil- and gas-fired heating of new buildings from 2013. Denmark is also a leader in combined heat and power (CHP). Twelve percent of all power in Denmark is generated from biomass and organic waste in CHP plants, and more than 80 percent of Danish district heating is cogenerated with electricity. Today, there are 670 decentralized CHP plants around the country. Most of the biomass being used in Denmark today is from straw and biodegradable waste, and 30 percent is imported from Eastern European countries and Canada in the form of wood pellets and wood chips. Biomass proponents claim that burning wood pellets is a carbon-neutral form of energy because the plants that are the source of biomass capture as much CO2 when growing as they emit when burned. However, many others believe harvesting wood for biomass is anything but carbon-neutral and threatens many diverse ecosystems throughout the world. In December 2014, the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Building announced that only sustainably produced biomass would be purchased. The agreement includes requirements for the entire biomass supply chain and requires that forests that supply biomass for energy production be replanted. However, the debate continues, as some argue that planting is no guarantee of healthy maturation—about as much biomass belowground must also be protected in its volume and biodiversity, and although the biomass may be sustainably produced, the magnitude of the biomass material harvested may be unsustainable. Denmark’s CHP plants, in combination with the wind turbines, make Denmark one of the countries with the highest percentage of distributed generation in the world. In 1990, the country had 15 central power plants. It now has 20 central power stations (4,200 MW), 45 electric boilers (550 MW), 5,300 wind turbines (5,070 MW), and 94,000 solar PV panels (785 MW), in addition to the 670 local combined heat and power plants (2,300 MW). While the variability of wind power can be challenging, one advantage Denmark has is its proximity to other countries to which it can export wind power. When Denmark has an excess of wind power, as happened last July when the country’s wind turbines produced 140 percent of the electricity demand, it exports electricity to Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Sweden and Norway import the electricity to save water in their hydro reservoirs, and use their hydropower during periods of low wind. Germany uses German windpower to save coal, though Germany’s own renewables are so robust that with their legal (and economically rational) dispatch priority, they often limit Denmark’s ability to export to Germany. Denmark is also looking into establishing new connections to farther countries such as Holland and England. Denmark is hoping to build a smart grid, and embarked on a full-scale smart grid pilot project in 2005, by reorganizing its grid in a cellular architecture. The Cell Controller Pilot Project (CCPP), which lasted for seven years, used advanced computers to jointly control wind turbines, CHP plants, and other distributed generation sources in a 1,000 square kilometer region, making them operate as a single integrated virtual power plant that can intelligently ramp production up or down depending on wind conditions and power consumption. This not only helps with grid reliability, but also provides ancillary services such as power balancing, import and export of power, and voltage control. A study conducted by Energinet showed that implementing a smart grid would provide gross socioeconomic benefits of $1.2 billion. Most importantly, Danish grid operators, who 15 years ago would have considered it impossible to run the grid stably with three-fifths renewable supply, now achieve this routinely. They have become among the world’s most adept at integrating diverse, distributed, often variable, renewable resources. As a result, Danish electricity supply is the most reliable in Europe, slightly ahead of Germany’s, and about ten times more reliable than U.S. electricity supply. Being fossil fuel free by 2050 means a big change in transportation. Yet Denmark has already made great strides. To discourage gasoline consumption, Denmark has a 180 percent tax on new cars, waived if one buys an electric car; a 95 percent surtax on cars weighing over two tonnes; and an annual tax on cars’ inefficiency. There is also free parking for EVs in all cities. It is estimated there are more than 4 million bicycles in Denmark and more than 10,000 kilometers of separated bike paths and bike lanes. And one-third of all commutes to work and school are done by bicycle. In its 2014 report, the Danish Energy Agency laid out four scenarios on how to be fossil fuel free by 2050: The country does face challenges ahead. “The continued governmental support around Europe to renewable energy with zero marginal costs drives conventional units out of the market and will make the pricing of electricity a strange business,” Parbo told RMI. “This also means that the ability to supply enough electricity in periods with no wind and no solar production will become the main future challenge.” But the main conclusion of the Danish Energy Agency’s report is that it is technically feasible for the Danish energy system to be 100 percent fossil fuel free. And it’s well on its way. Photo courtesy of CGP Grey via Flickr, Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0). Reprinted with permission. 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News Article | December 18, 2015
Picture shows algae grown in waste water from companies Novo Nordisk and Novozymes in a facility in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. A general view shows DONG Energy's power station, which provides steam, ash and gypsum as waste products to other companies for their use in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. A general view shows DONG Energy's power station, which provides steam, ash and gypsum as waste products to other companies for their use in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. As pioneers of so-called industrial symbiosis, these companies swap waste and byproducts to cut costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions profitably -- an approach that offers big business a financial incentive that could be crucial to nations striving to meet targets agreed at this month's global climate summit. Their success has attracted attention globally, with more than 30 corporate and municipal delegations from 20 countries visiting the town this year, including mayors from China's fast-growing Guandong province. Drugmaker Novo Nordisk, enzyme producer Novozymes and DONG Energy, together with Denmark's largest oil refinery, run by Statoil, are part of the group profiting from what is essentially a combined waste-management operation. The continually evolving model first attracted academia in the 1990s and prompted the creation of the Symbiosis Center in the town. Its head, Mette Skovbjerg, says businesses digesting the historic emissions deal could learn from Kalundborg. "What's attractive is that it's fairly easy for companies to see themselves in this model. They're not just going green but going on a path that is very similar to how they do business normally," she said. "The driver for this type of collaboration is actually to reduce production costs, not CO2 emissions. The real issue is to achieve primary goals companies have; to secure supplies and access to resources. That's a logic they understand." There are 30 types of materials -- ranging from steam, water and condensate to ash, sand, ethanol and biomass -- exchanged between companies and utilities in 50 processes at Kalundborg. What's useless for one, is useful for another. Steam from DONG's power station is pumped along pipelines around town to the Novo Nordisk and Novozymes plants, where it is used as a cleaning agent, and to the refinery, where it is used in several processes. The power station's ash and gypsum waste are moved to a cement company and a plasterboard maker respectively. Novo Nordisk and Novozymes' waste water is purified for municipal use, while their leftover biomass is converted to fertilizers. Statoil, too, has reduced emissions by turning waste sulfur and nitrogen into fertilizers and also feeds back used water to the power station and a water reservoir. Managers at all manner of businesses are attracted by such efficiency improvements, costs savings and value-added products. European Union institutions are embedding the idea of a so-called circular economy in a number of action plans and papers, and the European Commission says it promotes replication of Kalundborg in its 80 billion euro ($87 billion) Horizon 2020 innovation and growth project. "The town of Kalundborg has been one of the pioneers ... The Commission recognized it as a best-practice example of effective resource saving and recycling of materials in industrial production," Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said. The nature of the project means benefits are difficult to quantify precisely. The Symbiosis Center calculated emission cuts as a result of the product exchanges at 270,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in 2008. It is in the process of updating that calculation and expects a significant increase thanks to new projects. Total greenhouse emissions in Denmark in 2008 amounted to 63.8 million tonnes, down 3 million tonnes from the previous year, though emissions have since varied from rising to falling by as much as 6 million tonnes, Danish Energy Agency data shows. Savings are also hard to calculate partly because of the variety of exchanges but mostly because each process is part of a commercial deal between companies, with financial details undisclosed. Business consultancy Copenhagen Economics estimated cost savings at Kalundborg to be between 500 million and 600 million Danish crowns ($72 million to $87 million) a year, based on interviews with executives, in a 2013 report looking at whether the wider Copenhagen region should adopt the model. That may not be a significant amount for the likes of Novo Nordisk, which produces half of the world's insulin in Kalundborg and reaps annual revenue of $10 billion, but it does show emissions cuts do not have to cost. And that seems to be enough for the streams of visitors to Kalundborg. The Symbiosis Center has presented the model to top Chinese Communist Party official Yu Zhengsheng and has partnered with the Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area, an ecological industrial park close to the Chinese port city. Delegations from Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt and Kenya all visited in the past year, as well as plenty of European groups. A few minutes drive from the industrial hub of Kalundborg lies a greenhouse containing huge tanks in which algae is being grown for a new project cultivating living cells that can clean waste water by consuming pollutants. The EU-funded project, which takes waste water from Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, is now looking to upgrade the harvesting of algae to a degree that makes production commercially viable. The algae could also be used as feed for fish or have pigments extracted for the medical industry. The Symbiosis Center's Skovbjerg says this is a new step for the model. "Its core was only to take what was a leftover residual from one industry and use it in a different production process. Here, we're using waste water as a growth medium to produce a value-added product," she said as a project leader in the greenhouse showed a dark green paste in a bucket, its use as yet undecided. Despite such progress, EU funding, widespread praise and a multitude of visitors and academic papers, it must be noted that part of Kalundborg's success is down to four decades of organic growth and, crucially, the fortuitous proximity of key companies around the town. Peter Laybourn, chief executive of International Synergies, which facilitates similar collaboration between companies in various countries, acknowledges that the proximity factor means the Kalundborg model is limited but the underlying principles remain sound. The prospect of commercially viable agreements that also cut CO2 emissions is mentioned by all who are looking to emulate Kalundborg regardless of how they label the model, be it industrial symbiosis, a circular economy or eco-industrial park. "We use the language of business. We don't talk about emissions, we talk about risks and profit. But it just so happens, because we're dealing with materials or energy, we end up getting the environmental benefits as well," Laybourn said.
News Article | March 2, 2017
« Eaton introduces eVaptive electronic fuel tank venting system; reduced cost, complexity | Main | GKN Driveline develops new lightweight propshaft for Audi Q5; more compact, lighter, more efficient; MLB Evo » ABB has commissioned Denmark’s first urban energy storage system. The Lithium-ion based battery energy storage system (BESS) will be integrated with the local electricity grid in the new harbor district of Nordhavn, Copenhagen. The system has been commissioned for Radius, DONG Energy’s electrical grid division. The 630kW/460 kWh Battery Energy Storage System connected to main grid is capable of supplying electricity to 60 households for 24 hours. The battery storage solution will account for a significant part of the energy system, in which solar and wind energy will provide the majority of electricity production. Since renewable energy production is less predictable, the storage system will be a key element of energy supply. ABB’s flexible and modular system can be used for different functionalities such as peak load shaving and frequency response. The battery energy storage system is part of the “EnergyLab Nordhavn” project implemented in the Nordhavn district of Copenhagen. The project aims to develop and demonstrate energy solutions of the future. This includes providing valuable knowledge to help realize a more flexible and sustainable electricity grid with large amounts of renewable energy. These solutions are crucial for reaching the ambitious goal of turning Copenhagen into the world’s first carbon neutral capital in 2025. “EnergyLab Nordhavn – new urban energy infrastructures” is a four-year project (2015-19) developing future energy solutions. It uses Nordhavn as an urban living laboratory and demonstrates how electricity, district heating, energy-efficient solutions and electrical transport can be combined into an intelligent, flexible and highly-optimised energy system. The project partners include The Technical University of Denmark, City of Copenhagen, By & Havn, HOFOR, Radius, ABB, Balslev, Danfoss, Clean Charge, METROTHERM, Glen Dimplex and the PowerLab facilities. Funding for the project is supported by the Danish Energy Agency.
News Article | April 5, 2016
Another causation theory for the melting of Greenland's ice sheet might have been ascertained by a new study carried out by a team of researchers from Denmark and Canada's York University. Over and beyond the blazing rays of the sun, warm and moist air might also be immensely responsible for the melting of the ice sheet. There were two major ice melts that occurred in 2012, according to the study. One took place from July 8 to July 11, and the other happened later that very month, from July 27 to July 28. Based on the automatic weather station data from the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) and observations made, during these specific melt incidents, unusual amounts of warm and moist air impacted the surfaces of the ice sheet. By analyzing data from 12 different sites, researchers evaluated the varied energy sources responsible for the exceptional ice melt rates that occurred in 2012. They particularly found that the energy originating from warm air containing moisture content, not the sun's own radiant energy, could be held more accountable for the drastic ice melts. Incredibly, the melt that happened during those six days in July alone accounted for 14 percent of the overall melt that happened during the melting season. The record-high melt rate of 28 centimeters (11 inches) per day was observed during this period. Analysis of the data helped researchers arrive at the supposition that warm and moist air might be one of the key contributing forces toward the causation of the ice melts. "Glaciological instrumentation capable of automatically recording the daily rate of melting in exceptional melt circumstances, where the ice surface lowers by close to 10 [meters] [approximately 33 feet] in a few months, has only emerged in the last decade or so, thanks to PROMICE," said study co-author William Colgan of the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University. "The detail of PROMICE observations is permitting new insights on brief, but consequential, exceptional melt events." PROMICE was initiated in 2007 by the Danish Energy Agency's Danish Cooperation for Environment in the Arctic (DANCEA) program as an ongoing effort to assess changes in the Greenland ice sheet. The PROMICE automatic weather station data was used to estimate the varied impacts energy origination from the sun and atmosphere had on the ice melts. Greenland is the world's largest island and is host to the second largest ice mass on the planet, which covers a whopping 82 percent of the island. The details of the study have been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
News Article | December 14, 2016
A pioneering Danish solar tender resulted in winning bids low enough to be competitive with onshore wind, said industry commentators. The tender hosted by the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) left local joint-venture developer Pure & Better Energy with licenses for 21.6MW (AC) – about 30MW DC – of capacity in Denmark at nine 2.4MW installations. They will receive a fixed premium on top of market prices of DKr128.9/MWh ($18.46/MWh) from Danish TSO, Energinet.dk for 20 years. Rasmus Kjaer, managing partner of Better Energy said: “We’re not assuming a significant rise in electricity prices in the near timeframe. Assuming this, we are working with a revenue stream of €40-45/MWh ($42.6-48/MWh).” With the win and existing licenses for development, the company is set to become the largest independent solar power producer in Denmark with more than 100MW of PV capacity. DEA special advisor Rasmus Zink Sørensen told Recharge: “It’s definitely been a successful tender; with significant competition securing prices that are very competitive, even with onshore wind power.” The tender represented the second half of a pioneering agreement between Denmark and Germany trialing the partial opening of national support schemes for renewable capacity through cross-border auctions. The tender’s counter-part, Germany’s 50MW cross-border solar PV tender, concluded late November. To the dismay of Germany’s renewables industry, however, five Danish projects took home all the capacity at a winning total-price level of €53.80/MWh. This time around, although up to 2.4MW of the 20MW tender was open to bids for German projects, all 36 bids totaling 79MW were for Danish installations. Sørensen said the lack of German involvement does not negate the value of of the pilot. “That Danish projects won in the German tender means we will still be able to evaluate how it works when [financial] support comes from another country.” Better Energy’s Kjaer added: “The cross-border concept is something we’re very positive about in order to enhance competition for the benefit of energy supply. Hopefully we [will] see more, with higher capacities in the future. “With cross-border and technology-neutral tenders in the future we will be able to drive down costs of energy even further."
News Article | November 11, 2015
Originally published on the World Resources Institute blog. By and On Friday, the UNEP Emissions Gap Report joined a series of studies released over the past few weeks assessing how much countries’ recent climate change announcements, or intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs),contribute to combating warming. Collectively, the studies make it clear that the INDCs make a substantial contribution to bending the global emissions trajectory below our current path. However, the studies also show that without additional action, the INDCs are insufficient to limit warming to below 2°C and avoid some of the worst climate impacts. The details of the Paris Agreement are, therefore, very important to help achieve an additional bending of the emissions trajectory before 2020, to support the implementation of the INDCs and to ensure greater ambition after 2030. While all of the studies support these general conclusions, their numbers differ both in terms of projected temperature increase relative to pre-industrial levels, as well as emissions levels in 2025 and 2030. Below we discuss the results of various studies assessing the INDCs and highlight differences among their underlying assumptions, which can help explain why some details of their findings diverge. The studies include those by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), Australian-German Climate and Energy College (CEC), Climate Interactive, Danish Energy Agency (DEA), European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), London School of Economics (LSE), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MILES Project Consortium (MILES), PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, the UNFCCC, and the UNEP Emissions Gap Report, which is itself an in-depth assessment of many of these studies. Some of these studies may still be updated after this blog is published. Most studies compare global emissions pathways resulting from the INDCs to one or more alternative scenarios without the INDCs. These alternative scenarios include emissions under “business as usual” (typically defined as no new climate policy from 2010 onwards), emissions under currently adopted and implemented policies, and emissions assuming that countries’ 2020 pledges are met. The studies find that the INDCs reduce future emissions relative to these scenarios. The studies also find, however, that the INDCs do not reduce emissions sufficiently to limit warming to below 2 degrees C. Some of the studies model global temperature change under the INDCs out to 2100, and find that it will be higher than 2 degrees C. Other studies do not model temperature directly, but they still draw conclusions about temperature. They do this by comparing emissions in 2025 and/or 2030 under the INDCs to the levels that would be consistent with limiting warming to below 2C at the least possible cost. Either way, the result is the same — the INDCs are not sufficient. The subset of studies that assess temperature increases suggest that with the INDCs, we will witness 2.7–3.7 degrees C (median chance) of warming compared with pre-industrial levels. This is an improvement over business-as-usual trends, which would lead to 4–5 degrees C of warming, but falls short of the goal to limit warming to below 2 degrees C. Since temperature impacts are calculated out to 2100, the studies’ findings depend significantly on assumptions about what happens to emissions after the target date specified in the INDC — 2030 for most countries, and 2025 for the United States. Scenarios showing higher temperature increases by 2100, such as Climate Interactive INDC Strict, assume no continued progress after the INDCs are achieved. The scenarios showing lower temperature increases, such as the Climate Action Tracker, assume that mitigation effort of 2020–2030 continues throughout the century. There are also additional scenarios that have been studied by some analysts (e.g. the MILES study’s “Bridge Scenario”) that examine what additional targets and policies would have to be adapted to limit warming to 2 degrees C. All temperature findings are associated with some degree of uncertainty, so analysts use probabilities to frame their results. Two common framings are 50% likelihood, which provides a “toss of the coin” chance that warming will stay within the given temperature, and >66% likelihood, which provides a “likely” chance that warming will stay within the given temperature. The Climate Action Tracker finds a 50% chance that warming will stay within 2.7C, and a >66% chance that it will stay within 3C. Climate Interactive Strict finds that under its INDC Strict scenario there is a 50% chance that warming will be limited to 3.5C. MIT presents three scenarios – the low scenario corresponds to the 5th percentile; the central scenario corresponds to the median, and the high corresponds to the 95th percentile of the probability density function. Given that policy makers should be interested in a higher probability of achieving desired temperature outcomes, more studies should examine what a higher probability of the resulting temperatures from the INDCs are. A higher probability of limiting warming to various temperatures gives much greater confidence that the INDCs will be successful in limiting warming to that temperature. Emissions levels in 2025 and 2030 have significant consequences for our ability to limit warming to 2 degrees C. The higher emissions are in the near term, the greater the required emissions reductions in later decades for limiting warming. Steep rates of emissions reductions are far costlier than more gradual rates of decline. They also risk of failing to achieve the 2 degrees C target, and rely more on carbon dioxide removal technologies (e.g. bioenergy and carbon capture and storage), which have yet to be proven at scale. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report finds that if emissions levels are above 55 Gt CO2e in 2030, they require 6 percent per year rates of emissions decline between 2030 and 2050 (compared with 3 percent/year in cost-effective scenarios). A 6 percent rate of emissions reductions is unprecedented—emissions reduction rates during the collapse of the Soviet Union led to declines of 2–4 percent annually—and it will be exceedingly difficult to overcome the lock-in of carbon-intensive technologies, while at the same time rapidly scaling up zero and low-carbon energy sources. All studies included in our analysis find that emissions levels in 2025 and 2030 are higher than those consistent with a likely chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees C. The emissions levels in the studies range from 51.1-57.2 Gt CO2e in 2025 and 52-61.1 Gt CO2e in 2030. For contrast, the UNEP Emissions Gap Report finds that for a least-cost emissions pathway consistent with a likely chance of limiting warming to 2 degrees C, emissions are 48 Gt CO2e in 2025 and 42 Gt CO2e in 2030. Below is a chart showing median values for various studies’ assessments of anticipated emissions levels in 2025 and 2030, given the INDCs. The chart does not include those scenarios assuming mitigation targets and policies that went above and beyond the INDCs, nor does it include the IEA, which reports energy and process-related greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the studies examine multiple scenarios – for example, one scenario might include those pledges that are conditional (for example, on international finance or other support), while another might include only unconditional pledges. Below we describe the differences among multiple scenarios. There are a number of factors that can explain why studies estimate different temperature outcomes and emissions levels. For some countries, estimating future emissions is straightforward, and results in relatively little difference across studies (e.g. those countries that pledge to reduce economy-wide emissions relative to a past year’s emissions). For others, analysts have to make more assumptions (e.g. countries that pledge to reduce emissions per unit of GDP, without specifying expected future GDP growth). The emissions covered by INDCs are then aggregated with projected future emissions from countries, sectors and gases not covered by INDCs. The latter are taken from projections of what future emissions will be under “business as usual” or under current policies. Three factors are largely responsible for these differences: Depending on the timing of the analysis, the number of INDCs analyzed differs. For example, of the studies we looked at, the cut-off dates for including INDCs ranges from mid-August to the end of October 2015. In addition, a number of countries attach conditions (such as international financing or other forms of support) to all or part of their INDCs. Some scenarios include unconditional pledges only, whereas others include both conditional and unconditional pledges. Moreover, some INDCs are not clear about the extent to which they are conditional; in these cases, studies may categorize the same pledge differently with respect to its conditionality. Although the INDCs are more transparent than the Cancun pledges, the variation in studies’ results is in part due to the fact that some countries have not identified an expected emissions level in the future. This is particularly the case for targets that are framed as intensity targets or baseline scenario targets, where projected GDP or baseline scenario emissions are not specified, or targets that set a year to peak emissions and don’t specify the peak emissions level. For example, how China’s emissions trajectory is treated will have a significant impact on global emissions and resulting temperature increase, given that it is responsible for 22% of global emissions. With the exact timing and level of emissions peak is not specified, studies are forced to make assumptions about China’s future emissions levels. In addition, some studies examine China’s intensity target only, while others also examine additional policies and technology transformation, which can lead to additional reductions. Furthermore, given that the Chinese INDC peak year target only covers carbon dioxide, analysts have to make assumptions about the growth rate of non-CO2 gases. In addition, studies rely upon different data sources both for historical emissions as well as projected emissions (which is particularly relevant to the analysis of uncovered sectors and gases, as well as countries that have not submitted an INDC). Official data submitted by countries can vary from international data sources that are harmonized across countries. For instance, we found that 2010 emissions estimates used by various studies ranged from 47-49.5 Gt CO2e. In addition, studies use projections of emissions to estimate future emissions for those countries, sectors and gases not covered by an INDC. The difference between relying on “business as usual” projections versus current policy projections can be significant. Furthermore, some studies use IPCC Second Assessment Report global warming potential (GWP) values while others use Fourth Assessment Report, which can lead to differences in emissions estimates for non-CO2 gases. Also, the way in which emissions reductions and enhanced sinks are accounted for can have an impact on future emissions levels. This is particularly the case for LULUCF accounting. Projections of future emissions and removals in the sector are extremely uncertain, and most countries did not specify their assumed accounting approaches or data sources. The DEA study, for example, finds that differences in accounting rules for LULUCF can increase the emissions gap in 2030 by around 0.8 to 3.4 GtCO2e. One of the most significant factors is likely to be what the studies assume after the target year of the national climate plans, which determines the countries’ post-2025 or post-2030 emissions trajectory. For instance, do actions continue or end after the INDC is completed? Since most INDCs do not specify action after 2030, different scenarios reflect a broader range of assumptions, resulting in divergence in conclusions regarding post-2030 global emissions. The Climate Action Tracker assumes continued emissions reductions in future decades at a level of effort no more, or less, ambitious than that implied by the INDCs. Climate Interactive, on the other hand, assesses multiple scenarios, one in which there is no post-2030 action and several in which there is continued emissions reductions in certain countries to varying extents. The MIT study assumes the proposed cuts from the INDCs are extended through 2100, but not deepened further. In addition, other factors could make a difference, such as assumed implementation of the pledges, variations among the models themselves, treatment of accounting rules, and more. The Paris Agreement can help bend the curve further before 2030 and ensure greater ambition after 2030 by including clear long-term and short-term signals,increasing transparency of INDCs and future cycles of commitments, andadvancing accounting rules governed by strong principles. Additionally it can increase the probability of full implementation through strong provisions on capacity building, finance and technology transfer. In a little less than a month’s time, we have the opportunity to build upon the momentum unleashed by the INDCs and start to close the emissions gap to have a fighting chance of keeping global average temperature below 2 degrees C. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | September 21, 2016
The Wind Power and Renewables division of German multinational Siemens will provide four 7 MW wind turbines with accompanying new offshore wind innovations to a pilot offshore wind project being developed in northern Denmark. Nissum Bredning Vindmøllelaug and Jysk Energi placed the resulting winning bid for the Nissum Bredning Vind offshore wind project following a tender from Danish Energy Agency (DEA) for the construction of the 28 megawatt pilot project. Siemens has since been named the supplier, and will not only supply the four 7 MW wind turbines, but will also supply an innovative and new cost efficient gravity jacket foundation solution, the company’s new 66kV voltage solution including a new transformer, cable and switchgear systems, and further tower and controller innovations. “We are proud to be part of Nissum Bredning Vind offshore wind power plant,” explained Michael Hannibal, CEO Offshore at Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Since the Danish Ministry of Energy tendered the project as an official test bed for new technologies and integrated design, we’ve looked forward to this exciting project. This gives us the opportunity to simultaneously test and promote our innovations to achieve further cost reductions in offshore wind.” Siemens believes that the new innovations being tested in this pilot project will result in reduced Levelized Costs of Electricity (LCoE). The Danish Energy Agency is similarly looking forward to the project, expecting “significant savings within both capital and operating costs.” According to Siemens, of particular impact on the costs of this project is its new gravity jacket foundation concept, which should allow for the expected cost savings. Siemens explained in its press release that the foundations for an offshore wind farm often account for approximately 20% to 30% of the total costs of the project — Siemens is attempting to reduce this cost, and therefore the overall cost of offshore wind farms. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
News Article | March 4, 2016
« UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in US in February unchanged from January | Main | NHTSA proposes updating electrical safety requirements for fuel cell and mild hybrid vehicles; alignment with int’l standards » H2 Logic has delivered the ninth hydrogen fueling station in Denmark. The latest site was inaugurated in Kolding. This narrows the driving distance to the nearest station in Hamburg, Germany to only 245 km (150 miles) making cross-border driving on hydrogen more feasible. The station in Kolding is the third to open in Denmark during the past six months, and in total the ninth public accessible hydrogen station in 24/7 operation throughout Denmark. Additional H2Stations are planned during 2016 which will ensure that 50% of Danish population will have less than 15 kilometers to hydrogen fueling. Already today hydrogen available is in all of the major cities across the country, making it the first countrywide hydrogen station network in the world. The hydrogen station in Kolding will be used by a fleet of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles from Hyundai delivered to various local users, among others the City of Kolding. The Kolding station is operated by Danish Hydrogen Fuel A/S (DHF), a joint-venture between the oil company OK, gas company Strandmøllen and H2 Logic. DHF targets to build up to five hydrogen fuelling stations in Denmark, where the Kolding station is the third in operation. The station is placed at a conventional fuelling station operated by OK and located right next to the major highway connecting the southern part of Denmark with Germany. Hydrogen for the Kolding station is delivered from a central electrolyzer plant operated by Strandmøllen and based on technology from the H2 Logic sister company NEL-Hydrogen. The entire Danish hydrogen station network is based entirely on hydrogen produced from electrolysis and electricity procured with CO certificates. This ensures a 100% sustainable and zero emission hydrogen supply—the highest share in the world for an entire station network. The Kolding station, as well as the remainder of the Danish network is based on H2Station technology from H2 Logic that provides 70MPa fast fuelling in accordance with international standards. H2Station technology has a long proven track-record of reliable operation and is used on a daily basis in several European countries. The hydrogen station in Kolding is part of the H2ME demonstration project supported by the European FCH program and the Danish Energy Agency supported H2DK project.
News Article | December 13, 2016
We’ve been reporting on record-low solar price bids from the US Southwest and the Middle East for the past few years, which have been stunners, as well as extremely low prices in India, Brazil, Chile, Zambia, China, and elsewhere. However, this new one is an amazing price given Denmark’s nascent solar market and extremely northerly location. The auction brought in an average winning bid price of 38 Danish øre per kWh (5.4¢/kWh). As Chris Goodall and the Danish Energy Agency point out (in other units), that’s just 1.8¢/kWh above wholesale electricity prices. (Remember that Denmark is dominated by extremely low-cost wind energy — reaching 140% of power demand at times — which makes for low wholesale electricity prices.) “The winning tenders in the pilot tender of aid for solar PV conducted by the Danish Energy Agency were for a premium of only 12.89 Danish øre per kWh,” the Danish Energy Agency wrote. “This result testifies that electricity from solar PV in Denmark can now compete with the cheapest sources of renewable energy.” 5.4¢/kWh is on the low end of Lazard’s estimated levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for solar power plants. It’s not far below it like recent bids in the Middle East — but this is Denmark! If an immature solar market in a Scandinavian country can see an average solar price of 5.4¢/kWh — which beats the LCOE from every other new power plant option except wind — that’s a significant milestone. Some more facts from the tender via the Danish Energy Agency: Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter. Zachary Shahan is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.
News Article | December 13, 2016
The numbers fluctuate. At 10:19 AM Pacific Time, on December 13, wind turbines fed 434 megawatts (MW) into the grid. There have been days when they produced 140% of the nation’s need. Then there is solar energy and biomass. According to the Danish Energy Agency, combined, renewables produce 56% of Denmark’s domestic electricity consumption. Some critics point out that this is possible because of the tiny nation’s relationship with Norway, Sweden, and Germany. The Danes can build up their wind energy capacity knowing their neighbours will purchase any excess power they produce. Likewise, when the winds are scarce, they can import electricity. Nevertheless, Denmark produced 89% of the energy it used in 2015. Coal, oil, and natural gas consumption dropped 30.4%, while the consumption of renewable energy rose. Wind power supplied 41.8% of the nation’s domestic need. Biomass produced 11.0%. And other renewable sources (such as solar energy) made smaller contributions. This is good news for a world struggling to curb the emissions that cause global warming. It has been almost two decades since most of the world agreed to limit their emissions to 1990 levels. Most of the world has made little progress. However, the European Union is already 22.9% below and Denmark’s GHG emissions are 31.1% below. Buy a cool T-shirt or mug in the CleanTechnica store! Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.