special feature
What difference?
This feature was funded by
Ramboll UK
Fact file : Denmark
population  5.5 million
area  43,093 sq km
number of islands  more than 400
energy needs  self-sufficient
exports  oil, gas and electricity
Copenhagen's climate strategy
www.energycommunity.org (pdf)
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Low Carbon Power Generation
in Copenhagen
Part of our Low Carbon Copenhagen project ... project index >
introduction  •  wind power  •  waste-to-energy  •  solar power  •  geothermal power
biomass technologies  •  other technologies •  sources
key facts  •  urban planning timeline  •  pedestrianisation timeline  •  Denmark timeline
Power generation in Copenhagen
Introduction
Copenhagen has a big idea. It plans to be the world's first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025. Along the way, the aim was to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2015. The city reached that goal in 2011. Three quarters of it was achieved through greening the energy supply — and it has a two-pronged attack: converting from fossil fuels to renewables and using energy more efficiently.
Denmark's aim as a whole is no less impressive: in 2008 the government launched an energy strategy that made it the first country in the world to commit to an overall reduction in energy use. Denmark's Second National Communication on Climate Change reaffirmed the 1997 'coal stop' policy that coal cannot be used for any increase in power generation capability.
The city of Copenhagen is of course subject to the power generation policies set out by the national government. However, it has detailed initiatives of its own, and has concentrated on an integrated approach, making sure its transport, energy use, waste disposal, building and urban plannning guidelines all work together. The Copenhagen Climate Plan (pdf) sets out the city's vision.
Already well known for its long history of sustainable urban planning and low-carbon initiatives, Copenhagen has also supported a range of low and renewable energy technologies. In relation to power generation, it is committed to wind power, waste-to-energy, solar power, geothermal power and biomass technologies, and to the development of promising new technologies and applications such as fuel cells
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introduction  •  wind power  •  waste-to-energy  •  solar power  •  geothermal power
biomass technologies  •  other technologies •  sources
key facts  •  urban planning timeline  •  pedestrianisation timeline  •  Denmark timeline
images  courtesy Rambøll
project team  Jane Joyce, Eleanor Knowles, Nick Simons, Clare Sims, Paul Weston
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"Over 70% of the world's
carbon dioxide emissions come from cities. Cities hold the key
to the global climate challenge."
Copenhagen Climate Plan
"We want to lead internationally with our Climate Plan, and inspire others to follow suit."
Copenhagen Climate Plan
Companion article
Low Carbon Copenhagen
by Timothy Beatley
University of Virginia
Read about Copenhagen's long history of progressive urban and environmental planning, and about pioneering ideas, strategies and technologies.
CLICK HERE TO START READING