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Power Earth

Denmark Plans To Be Coal-Free In 10 Years 332

merbs writes "Earlier this year, Denmark's leadership announced that the nation would run entirely on renewable power by 2050. Wind, solar, and biomass would be ramped up while coal and gas are phased out. Now Denmark has gone even further, and plans to end coal by 2025.
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Denmark Plans To Be Coal-Free In 10 Years

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  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @12:35AM (#48275683)
    Russia has demonstrated that it is unwilling to engage in above-board transactions for their fuel exports. It is in every country's national interest to reduce dependency on imports when they can neither control the supply nor rely on the supplier to operate as a business rather than as a belligerent nation. If anything, Russia's recent behavior has reinforced this for Europe, and given the Europeans incentive to get off of Russia's exports.

    It's a shame that Denmark can't get off of natural gas sooner than coal.
    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @01:08AM (#48275771)

      Russia has demonstrated that it is unwilling to engage in above-board transactions for their fuel exports.

      [...]

      It's a shame that Denmark can't get off of natural gas sooner than coal.

      Thanks to the North Sea, Denmark is a net exporter of oil and natural gas. It's actually the coal they need to import. And compared to natural gas, it's actually the coal that is considerably dirtier. I personally don't see anything wrong with their plan. Few countries are in the position they're in, they will even benefit from what's going on with Russia right now.

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Not to mention, the coal plants aren't just simply going to disappear. I really doubt Denmark is just going to dismantle them, at least in the near future - they'll surely just maintain them and keep them around for emergencies (such as an energy war with Russia or whatnot).

        • by Splab ( 574204 )

          Why would we want to keep them around for that contingency? The post you are replying to is correctly stating that we are self sufficient in gas and oil.

          Also, if Denmark ever went to war with Russia, we would be wiped off the map in the first few hours as we are a strategic staging point for the US and allies (Basically, everyone where pointing nukes at Denmark during the cold war).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pjunold ( 860233 )
          Having grown up next to a Danish first oil then coal powerplant, I can testify that some of the plants are actually dismantled while other have been converted to running on gas. One side effect of this was that many workers lost their jobs as a modern gas driven plant can be run by way fewer people.

          I believe the housewives of the town are happy though. When I was a kid they were always complaining that their laundry hanging outside for drying was getting dirty by the smoke from the powerplant and the dus
        • > I really doubt Denmark is just going to dismantle them

          That's precisely what they did in Ontario. We got rid of all our coal plants, and started dismantling them. Actually, one was turned to biomass.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakeview_Generating_Station
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearn_Generating_Station

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      It's a shame that Denmark can't get off of natural gas sooner than coal.

      Denmark does have a little oil in at sea, being drilled up mærsk, along with some natural gas. If I'm not mistaken Denmark is self sufficient when it comes to gas and oil...

    • I don't think it's a coincidence that Russia is acting up, and grabbing what it can grab, right at this moment.
      Europe's push for renewable energy, coupled with the fact that large-scale LNG exports are due to come online from North America in the next few years means that using energy disruption, or even the threat of it, as a foreign policy weapon is going to be FAR less effective.
  • What is the point? And what's the plan, dig out all the coal and ship it off somewhere?

    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      What is the point? And what's the plan, dig out all the coal and ship it off somewhere?

      Coal in Denmark... Ha :) there is like no natural resources in Denmark... A little oil at sea along with some fish, I think that's about it... And wages way to high for mining to be profitable...

  • by presidenteloco ( 659168 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @01:15AM (#48275787)

    Our governments, and, oops, those who elected them.

    The kind of target they are going for (especially the 2050 one) is in the ballpark of the kind of target we would all have to hit to avoid a complete screw-up on this file.

    Are you a betting person?

    I think it's great what Denmark's doing, but it saddens me to realize that political will in the rest of the world is so far far off the mark.

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Why do you think Denmark will be able to achieve that target? They're already paying double for electricity compared to most of the rest of Europe. 30 years of that won't look pretty IMHO.
    • by jopsen ( 885607 )

      I think it's great what Denmark's doing, but it saddens me to realize that political will in the rest of the world is so far far off the mark.

      The goals set fourth by the EU aren't that bad either... Just saying the only major industrialized nation with decent goals is the US.

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @02:02AM (#48275921)

    http://shrinkthatfootprint.com... [shrinkthat...int.com...]

    Denmark pays a whopping 41 cents per kilowatt hour.

    OUCH !!!!!!!

    3.5 times the avg cost in the U.S.

    It really doesn't take much for other energy sources to beat that. Going out on a limb here I suspect renewables could be cheaper by just not being subject to whatever it is they do that makes their current energy sources ridiculously expensive.

    • by jopsen ( 885607 ) <jopsen@gmail.com> on Friday October 31, 2014 @02:54AM (#48276043) Homepage

      Denmark pays a whopping 41 cents per kilowatt hour.....3.5 times the avg cost in the U.S.

      Do you even care about the size of your electricity bill... Mine is mainly an annoyance, it's like 10-15 USD / month.

      Also note, very few people in Denmark uses electric heating as you can get hot water from centralized production into your home (not clean only for use in radiators). My parents gets their heating from a power plant 20km away.
      Also buildings have strict isolation requirements, and incandescent bulbs have been banned through out EU (presumably you can still get them, but not through regular retail; I'm not sure).

      • by Chas ( 5144 )

        Do you even care about the size of your electricity bill... Mine is mainly an annoyance, it's like 10-15 USD / month.

        Now treble or quadruple it. Then tell me about how "insignificant" it is.

      • I WANT your electricity bill... Mine is like $1000 a quarter.

      • by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @04:45AM (#48276357)

        Also note, very few people in Denmark uses electric heating as you can get hot water from centralized production into your home (not clean only for use in radiators). My parents gets their heating from a power plant 20km away.

        Not to nitpick, but danes refer to that centralized production as "surplus heat". The "surplus" heat is heat generated as a bi-effect from producing electricity.... - from coal. So, when the electricity all comes from wind, the danes need to find some other way to heat their houses during winter.

        • Also note, very few people in Denmark uses electric heating as you can get hot water from centralized production into your home (not clean only for use in radiators). My parents gets their heating from a power plant 20km away.

          Not to nitpick, but danes refer to that centralized production as "surplus heat". The "surplus" heat is heat generated as a bi-effect from producing electricity.... - from coal. So, when the electricity all comes from wind, the danes need to find some other way to heat their houses during winter.

          It also comes from trash burning, but yes. There are issues to be solved for sure.

    • by KarmaPolice ( 212543 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @03:19AM (#48276111) Homepage

      http://shrinkthatfootprint.com... [shrinkthat...int.com...]

      Denmark pays a whopping 41 cents per kilowatt hour.

      OUCH !!!!!!!

      3.5 times the avg cost in the U.S.

      It really doesn't take much for other energy sources to beat that. Going out on a limb here I suspect renewables could be cheaper by just not being subject to whatever it is they do that makes their current energy sources ridiculously expensive.

      As with many things i Denmark, most of this is taxes (approx. 75%). The rest is the actual cost of producing the energy.
      The coal-based plants in Denmark are very efficient and they produce many tons of acid and all sorts of chemicals from the emissions from the plants, before letting it out into the atmosphere.

      As a side-story, the government recently cancelled a very popular funding-arrangment that made it very popular to install a local (6KW) solar plan on your roof. The ones who installed it in time, now have free electricity.

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      Going out on a limb here I suspect renewables could be cheaper by just not being subject to whatever it is they do that makes their current energy sources ridiculously expensive.

      What might make their current energy sources expensive? Going out on a limb here, but I'd guess it's raising taxes directly on the fuel to pay for its external environmental & military & health costs, rather than sweeping those costs under general taxation as we do here in the US...

    • by Splab ( 574204 ) on Friday October 31, 2014 @05:12AM (#48276443)

      No we are paying 36 Ãre/kwh, which is around 6 cents, the rest is taxes, transmission and other fucking bullshit stuff. (Which basically means, you can save close to 0 by switching providers, as the main part of your electricity bill is fixed).

  • Denmark’s clean energy roadmap is a useful reminder that it can be done—but it’s not the only such blueprint out there. In the past Stanford professor Mark Z. Jacobson has told me that massive economies like California can and will run entirely on clean energy—and his own peer-reviewed roadmaps demonstrate how. "There's about a 95 percent chance that [California] will be powered by 100 percent clean energy," he said.

    Danes: Hey, we can do this because the people in California are doi

    • The Danes are probably looking to Sweden who has been doing this for years. Though in Sweden it only works because they buy coal-fueled power from Denmark during the peak hours.

      Not sure who is planning this nonsense in Denmark now. We already have 33% wind power, but due to the issues with peak-power it will be hard to get above 66% and even that will require massive extra capacity.

  • They have little or no coal in Denmark so it makes perfect sense to be less dependant on imports.
    • They have little or no coal in Denmark so it makes perfect sense to be less dependant on imports.

      Denmark has fairly little biomass per capita, so they'll be highly dependent on wood imports from Sweden and Finland if they're going to phase out coal with biomass. Sweden already burns most if the leftover biomass that is left once the trees have been turned into planks and paper, which pretty much leaves Finland to supply Denmark.

      Burning biomass is an extremely inefficient and stupid way of producing power unless you live in an extremely sparsely populated country with lots of woodland, which pretty much

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        Ah yes, the trick of taking things to extremes instead of assuming that it's just going to be a portion of the energy mix. Good job. I'm sure The Party may eventually notice your striving against what you see as the symbols of those that oppose The Party.
        Sorry kid but petty arse licking politics for the sake of it bores me.
  • This Danish goal, getting rid of coal plants by 2025, may not be hard to achieve, as they can import electricity, using sub-sea HVDC, from Norway, which has plenty of hydro, or by importing it from Sweden, which has plenty of nuclear and hydro. Running all of the country on wind power is a mirage. Where does the power come from when the wind doesn't blow, which may happen from time to time ?

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