Economic concerns about renewable energy targets

The government’s climate goals are too ambitious and expensive, a state-appointed committee claims

Danish climate policy is too ambitious and the spread of renewable energy should be stopped. That is the surprising conclusion of Det Miljøøkonomiske Råd, a government-appointed committee that is charged with shedding light on how the economy and environment interact as well as investigating the effectiveness of the climate policy. 

Over the next week, the committee will deliver a number of recommendations to the government. It is believed that from an economic perspective the committee will be critical of the climate policy for weakening the country’s competitiveness and employment rate. The committee also believes that the goals will reduce the wealth and lead to higher electricity prices.

Most ambitious in the EU
According to the committee, Danish climate policy is too ambitious, and without good reason. For example, according to the government's targets, renewable energy should account for 35 percent of electricity consumption by 2020 – five percent higher than in the rest of the EU, but this 5 percent will not make a difference.

“As the share of renewable energy goes up, the need for Danish CO2 quotas is reduced," explained a statement from the committee. "However, other countries in the EU can use these quotas, which means that an increase in renewable energy in Denmark will not lead to lower CO2 emissions in Europe.”

However, not everyone is convinced by the economic argument. “In the future we cannot be dependent on fossil fuels," Socialdemokraterne’s spokesperson on climate and energy, Jens Joel, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. "We are investing a lot in wind energy, and by 2050 we will appreciate the jobs that the green transition has led to."