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Bendt Bendtsen

Bendt Bendtsen: Denmark is against energy monopoly

Bendt Bendtsen 40%

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First of all – thank you for the invitation to come here today to speak about energy policy. Energy policy today is also security policy, foreign policy and competition policy.

In general, what should be noted about all policy areas is that monopolies are bad. It does not matter whether it is a public or private monopoly – both models are bad. They distort competition, hinder investment and are bad for the end-user.

The most important fundamentals of Danish energy policy is diversity and a liberal market with free entry for new participants, and a continuing improvement of existing infrastructure, as well as the development of new infrastructure.

Denmark is the only country in the EU to exporting more energy than we are importing. The electricity supply is cut less than half an hour a year. When the supply of oil and gas in the North Sea falls, Denmark will probably become an energy importing country again.

Even though this changes, the risk that Denmark will not have energy in the future is very little. The truth is that supply of energy to Denmark cannot be cut, without it also affecting a lot of other countries. This is in stark contrast to the Baltic States.

I am worried about Europe’s rising dependency of Russian gas and oil from the Middle East. It is unwise to become more and more dependent. And it is even worse as we only have one supplier. Every country needs to decide on its own energy mix and its own way of conducting its business, but we need to learn from each other, and I feel there are a few points from the Danish Way that might meaningful for other countries to know about.

 

Liberalization

To get greater competition in the energy market, and making it easier for companies to act in the market I created Energinet.dk in 2005. Energinet.dk is a so-called ’special public’-owned company, which means that the state owns it, but it gets no funding from the state.

The state – through energinet.dk – owns the big transmissions lines of electricity and gas. In Denmark, every consumer and company can decide where to buy its electricity and gas. Energinet.dk is paid for the transmission by the sellers, and uses this money for infrastructure and research in new technologies. Furthermore, energinet.dk is obliged to pay back any turnover to these companies. This means that the state does not earn money on lending infrastructure to the companies. It can be said that energinet.dk owns all highways and main roads for gas and electricity in Denmark.

On top of my portfolio of business and economy, I was also a minister for energy from 2001-2005. We, in the Danish government, made this move due to a belief in the liberal energy market. It is necessary to take steps to ensure the functioning of the infrastructure, because infrastructure is a pre-condition to a functioning market.

 

Renewables

Biomass is today an integrated part of the energy mix. Here, 2nd generation biofuels is the most important part. In both electricity and heating biofuels has a great potential, but of course the greatest potential is in transport.

Wave energy is another field with great potential but one where Denmark has not reached its full potential. Today we have almost no wave energy, but realistically, it can come to as much as 10% of electricity consumption in 2050. First generation biofuels is not sustainable and can damage food security. 2nd generation biofuels, however, is both sustainable and is only used waste from crops.

Electric cars have a great potential but many years will pass before they have been fully introduced into the market. Biofuels, on the other hand, can be used in the existing car park.

The first region that is able to lead a sustainable climate policy will benefit tremendously in terms of job creation and the economy. Investment is necessa. y but will come back ten-fold in the long run.

...

 

 

18.Maijs, 2010

Read full article: www.karins.lv

22.01.2011


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