Least Resource Cost Energy Policy in Denmark

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Chris Cook:

"In 1973 the Oil Shock – the 400% oil price increase from $3 to $12 per barrel - exposed Denmark's 90% reliance on fossil fuels. The Danish reaction was pragmatic and politically consensual: they simply mandated that for any given use of heat, transport, power, light and other energy service the use of oil & gas would be minimised.

This organising principle of Least Resource Cost drove Denmark's energy policy thereafter towards energy independence and resilience, being applied across all energy services. Development of renewable energy to substitute for oil saw the Danes acquire Scottish wind turbine technology and build turbines across Denmark, while creating the biggest global wind turbine manufacturer (Vestas) in a country with a similar population to Scotland.

Heat infrastructure such as combined heat and power; district heating and heat storage (infinitely cheaper than electricity storage) was installed throughout Denmark, through fiscal policies discouraging car use and enabling a switch to public transport and bicycles; and finally through massive public investment in energy efficiency in buildings, and in zero waste generally.

Since 1973 Denmark's GDP doubled while energy use declined and fossil fuel use (and CO2 production!) fell significantly. This image strikingly illustrates how Denmark's centralised National Grid evolved into a decentralised Natural Grid." (https://www.thealternative.org.uk/dailyalternative/2017/3/7/the-policy-makes-the-party)