Studies have shown that levels of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere are at an all time high. The time for change regarding energy choices is now. One nation has already taken up the charge to change the way we create and use energy. Denmark is leading the world in making changes regarding energy sources. The nation has a plan to be 100 percent dependant on renewable sources by 2050. This will create new jobs, decrease dependency on international resources and increase their exports to other nations.
Denmark has been titled a “EU trailblazer” for its efforts by a leading expert on renewable energy, Tobias Austrup. He believes that the nation is showing the rest of the world that a change to clean energy can be achieved by “industrialized countries.” Austrup has also reportedly said that Denmark’s efforts can be used as a “blueprint” for other surrounding nations in the EU.
Their aims are high. Denmark has stated that by 2020, they hope to have their sustainable output at 70 percent. This will allow them to switch to entirely clean energy easier by mid-century. Deputy director Kristoffer Böttzauw, of the Danish energy agency Energistyrelsen, has said that he believes the total abandonment of oil, coal and gas is realistic.
The Danish plan is in line with the report published last month by the European Union. The “roadmap” for changing to low-carbon emissions, has reportedly stated that their goal is to cut carbon dioxide emissions as much as 80 percent by 2050, in the domestic sphere alone. They recommend using building materials that are “energy-efficient”, switching to hybrid or electric cars and generating power from low-carbon sources.
As for sources, Denmark’s 4,500 miles of coastline allow for a great number of wind farms, with conditions for wind power rated as the best in all of Europe. There are also plans that include setting up farms between the waters that border on Sweden, Germany and Denmark. This is set to be producing 600-megawatts by 2020 at the latest. The country also wishes to develop more solar energy systems and the rest of the power will be generated via biomass.
Böttzauw also has plans in place for energy storage on days when sources could be over-producing, such as in the case of high winds. When wind farms are working at “excess capacity,” the resulting power can be stored as heat and used in heat pumps in homes and businesses. He also has a plan to store excess energy in electric cars, so that if power on the grid is low, then the car batteries can send the saved electricity to the system.
Denmark’s plan for 100 percent reliance on renewable energy by 2050 can not come soon enough. Earth’s atmosphere is now above 400 parts per million in terms of average levels for carbon dioxide. The figure is the highest it has ever been in human history. This level is said to fluctuate slightly, as plants are also producers of CO2 and they tend to peak in Spring and die away again in Autumn. However, experts have predicted that the levels will stay above 400 for the remainder of the year.
As well as causing problems in the atmosphere, higher levels of carbon dioxide mean more chances of asthma and other health problems. If the world is to have any sort of chance at surviving for another million years, then other countries need to follow in Denmark’s wake and make their own plans to rely on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. To do nothing now, only worsens hopes for the future.
By Sara Watson