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Biofuels in Denmark


The importance of energy independence in Denmark is underlined in the government plan ‘A Visionary Danish Energy Policy’ (January 2007) in which also the importance of renewable energy sources is stressed. Denmark is known for its high penetration rates of wind power in the electricity systems, that locally may result in overcapacity during certain time-frames. Heat supply through distribution networks is common practice in Denmark. The major developments of the district heat sector took place in the 1980s and 1990s, focusing on cogeneration of electricity and heat. According to the present policy Denmark should have at least 30% energy supply from renewable energy in 2025, which corresponds to a wind power production of around 50% of electricity consumption.

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Denmark is 30% (in the year 2005 the share was 17.0%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Denmark   
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Denmark was submitted in July 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 30% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year exactly matches the target.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (2643 ktoe, 54% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from wind power (11.7 TWh or 1007 ktoe, 20% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from biomass (renewable electricity) (8.8 TWh or 761 ktoe, 15% of all renewable energy). Wind power contributes with 4.0 GW (11.7 TWh) in the year 2020 (onshore wind 2.6 GW and 6.4 TWh, offshore wind 1.3 GW and 5.3 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 0.0 GW (0.0 TWh). For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 16 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 167 ktoe (biodiesel) and 94 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 6.3 TWh (546 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 2.5 TWh (214 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 2470 ktoe for solid biomass and 165 ktoe for biogas.    

Renewable transport fuels (biofuels)

The main supporting measure for biofuels is the removal of the CO2 tax on biofuels (effective since 1 January 2005). The Government’s initiative will result in a 15% reduction in the use of fossil fuels in Denmark by 2025. Biofuels could contribute significantly to reducing the transport sector's oil consumption and thereby reinforce security of supply. Research is underway on means to reduce the cost of producing biofuels, including research on entirely new production methods based on enzymes, for example. Danish enterprises are on the leading edge of these developments, which are financially supported by the Energy Research Program.

Future programme changes expected
No information on future policy.

Danish Energy Agency, (sourced September 2008)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database,, version 2007

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Entry into force on June 25th, 2009), download from

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: (sourced July - December 2010)   
Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)   

 Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: 
December 2010

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