By Na Jeong-ju
While Denmark was an early mover on green growth, Korea is a fast mover, so said Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis.
The two countries formed a “Green Growth Alliance,” under which they will collaborate on developing eco-friendly technologies and adopt joint action plans, when President Lee Myung-bak visited Copenhagen in May.
The accord, signed on the sidelines of talks between Lee and Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, represents Korea’s growing economic and diplomatic ties with the European nation.
Denmark is a role model for Korea as well in taking the path toward a green economy.
Under the ambitious “Energy Strategy 2050” policy roadmap, Denmark aims to be fully independent of fossil fuels by 2050.
The strategy contains a range of initiatives that will reduce the energy industry’s use of fossil fuels by 33 percent in 2020 compared with the 2009 levels.
The plan also calls for a significant increase in renewable energy obtained from wind, biomass and biogas, which over the next decade will increase the share of renewable resources to 33 percent of energy consumption.
If the plan is carried out successfully, wind power alone will cover more than 40 percent of overall electricity consumption by 2020, compared with about 20 percent at present.
By 2020, more than 60 percent of electricity consumption will be covered by renewable energy.
The strategy offers a path to the conversion of the country’s energy supply, and includes specific initiatives, which would not damage the national competitiveness, according to the Danish government.
Homeowners and companies will only experience moderate increases in the costs of heat and electricity, but will at the same time be given opportunities to lower their energy expenses through diverse measures.
In addition, a broad range of initiatives will encourage a shift to biomass in the power plans of major cities, increase consumption of renewable energy, and promote more efficiency energy use. Initiative include biomass and biogas, wind power, intelligent energy networks, energy efficiency and research, development and demonstration activities.
Korea is the first nation to join the Danish global public-private initiative, “Global Green Growth Forum.”
The objective of the forum is to stimulate economic growth globally, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing unsustainable resource use, through the promotion of regulatory frameworks, investments and industry commitments.
It will do this in association with Korea’s Global Green Growth Institute through an innovative and action-oriented public-private partnership.