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. Denmark sets renewable energy target at 20 percent by 2011

The Danish agreement calls for better subsidies for developing energy from wind, biomass and biogas, and for two new wind parks to be built off the Scandinavian country's coast by 2012.
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen (AFP) Feb 22, 2008
Denmark aims to increase its use of renewable energy to 20 percent of its overall energy mix by the end of 2011, up from 15 percent today, the government said Friday.

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's liberal-conservative government, along with most other parliamentary parties, agreed late Thursday on the new target, the Climate and Energy Ministry said in a statement.

"With its new energy agreement, Denmark takes the (global) lead in terms of offensive efforts" to increase the use of renewable energy, Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard said in the statement.

The deal was reached less than a month after the European Commission set a renewable energy target for Denmark at 30 percent by 2020 as part of an EU-wide scheme aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuel.

The Danish agreement calls for better subsidies for developing energy from wind, biomass and biogas, and for two new wind parks to be built off the Scandinavian country's coast by 2012.

Cars running on hydrogen fuel will be exempt from taxes while the tax-free status of electric cars will be extended until 2012, according to the statement.

"The creation of a stable framework for investments in renewable energy is in everyone's interest," Hedegaard said, adding that Denmark would also try to slash its overall energy use by two percent by 2011 compared to 2006 levels, and by four percent by 2020.

When it comes to reducing energy use, "Denmark is a world leader and we intend to continue in the same mode," Hedegaard said, pointing out that "In 2025, (Denmark's) total energy consumption will not have risen in 50 years."

The energy deal was reached after more than a year of negotiations. Only the small, far-left Unity List party refused to sign it.

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