windmillFrom: Francis Npong, Denmark

Denmark (Kingdom) has a long tradition of ambitious and climate policies and credited as being the greenest country on earth.  It is a sovereign state in Northern Europe, located south-west of Sweden, south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany.

The Kingdom has two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. At 43,094square kilometers (16,638.69 sq mi) and a population of around 5.5 million inhabitants, Denmark consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and the Danish archipelago of 407 islands of which around 70 are inhabited, and are characterized by flat, arable land and sandy coasts with little elevation and a temperate climate.

It is among the coolest European nations. Largely agriculture and technology production and export nation, Denmark is also the largest pig production and exporter in the world. It has a pig population of about 30 million, 6 times the human population.  The cool climate means that the country will need reliable and sustainable energy supply to warm it people, brightens it streets and powers its industries. In Denmark energy, like water, is “life”.

Denmark does have some oil fields but it wants to be completely independent of fossil fuels and coal energy. The country drives its passion for innovative energy production from other sources rather than coal and fossil because of the lesson learned during 1970s energy crisis. Currently it is the leading exporter of green solutions (technologies and innovations) not only in the energy sector but also water and waste management sector.

Developing on the ticket of “green”, the Danish Government wants the world economy to be developed through “green solutions”. As explained by Susanne Krawack, chief consultant at CONCITO, green solutions are fundamental changes to a society, which emits less Green House Gas (GHG) and use fewer resources. The economies walking on green transition could hardly be developed without change of positions of power, she said.

CONCITO is a Copenhagen based policy Think Tank on climate mitigation and adaptation policies. It is politically independent and provides analyses, based on research and practice which can be translated into direct action in politics, business and the responsibilities of every citizen.

To be qualified more as a greener nation, the Danish government is phasing out coal and oil-fired boilers by 2030. Half of the electricity consumption would come from wind turbines. By 2035, the government hopes to achieve 100% renewable energy in electricity and heat too, said Krawack. This means that the government would reduce considerably carbon emission into the atmosphere to reduce green house gases.

Making a presentation captioned “How Green is Green” to some African environmental and business reporters from Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa who spent a week exploring Danish innovations within renewable energy, green technologies, environmental policies and programmes, political environment and climate smart-businesses under the auspices of International Media Support (IMS) Suanne Krawack quoted International Energy Agency (IEA) as saying “If we are to reach a maximal temperature rise by 2 degrees in this century, two-third of known fossil energy reserves must stay in the underground”.

The study-tour which financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was aimed to expose Africa to green solutions to energy, waste, and water management and climate smart business opportunities.

With its 2050 energy strategic plan, Denmark is not thinking about hydro power or discovering of new oil or coal fields anymore but concentrating on developing effective and efficient technologies for a sustainable wind, waves and biogas energy generation.

from left to right Hanne Tornager, IMS, Simon centre Manager
In red, Simon, Manager, Test Windmills and Hanne Tornager, Communication Consultant, IMS

In Red, Simon, Technical Denmark University and Hanna Tornager, Communication Consultant, IMS during the tour

Currently, the Danes are testing the biggest windmills ever in the world and if successful, would ensure that 50% of energy would originate from the windmills by 2020, said the project manager at Osterild National Test Centre for Big Windmills Simon.

“Danes are environmentally conscious and will not accept projects that are not environmentally friendly. We are currently testing the noise level of the windmills”, he said.

The project would boost the energy needs of the country for household consumption and industrial sector. He said “All the sectors, from political, business, universities, research institutions, farmers to citizens pay attention to national issues (on environment, energy, policies, water), yea coöperation among all sectors is very strong and effective”,  he said.

Ghana is currently facing energy challenges as a result of increased in fuel prices at the world’s market. However, Ghana could benefit from windmills and solar because of availability of wind and sun particularly in the northern part of the country if considered.

In Ghana projects that draw huge national budget are subjected to political debates which often get frustrated along the line. Ghanaian politicians have never agreed to any national policy on development except it’s related to their salaries and welfares.

Ghana could adopt some of the energy technologies in Denmark such as solar,biogas, wind and waves energy to solve the energy need of the country.  Windmills, solar and biogas plants being promoted worldwide as clean and cost-effective energy could cut to the least the green house gases emit into the atmosphere casing global warming. The pace of growth of every national economy depended on availability of energy to manufacturing, and household sector. Ghana is currently struggling to meet the high demand for energy and considering some effective and efficient technologies in Denmark could help the country solve its current energy crisis.

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