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Danish electricity generation was greener than ever in 2020

Published 22.6.2021 14.42
CO2 emissions from Danish electricity generation reached an all-time low last year. In 2020, emissions were down 13 per cent from 2019, the previous record year.

Danish electricity generation has delivered yet another record year. In 2020, electricity generation emitted 5.2 million tonnes of CO2. This is the lowest level ever and 0.7 million tonnes lower than the record year 2019 – a drop of just under 13 per cent.

- Year by year, wind and solar resources replace more and more fossil fuels – the annual power generation from wind turbines and solar cells reaches new heights often these years, and CO2 emissions match this positive trend, with levels dropping every year, says Katja Birr-Pedersen, head of the Analyses and Models department.

Overall, Danish electricity generators emit less and less CO2.

At the same time, this has resulted in a record-low CO2 intensity for Danish electricity generation, which totalled 117 grams per kWh in 2020.

The fact that 2020 offered low electricity prices in the Nordic countries is also a contributing factor to the record-low CO2 level as Danish power stations generated less and we imported more electricity, including hydropower from Norway and Sweden.

The results are presented in Energinet's annual Environmental report. In addition to presenting figures on emissions from Danish electricity generation, the report also includes an environmental impact statement of the power we get from our sockets – i.e. Danish electricity generation, calculated on an hour-by-hour basis, excluding exports of Danish electricity, and including imports from our neighbouring countries. 

Last year, an average Danish kilowatt hour consisted of 45 per cent wind power, 4 per cent solar power, 10 per cent hydropower and 13 per cent biofuels.

This is the greenest composition ever, which is evident from the record-low value of CO2 intensity of consumption of an average Danish kilowatt hour, which was 122 grams per kWh in 2020. This is a decline of approximately 15 per cent relative to 2019.

The figure shows how an average kilowatt hour in the Danes' sockets was composed seen across 2020.