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Danish report Danish report
by Euro Reporter
2012-02-11 09:57:45
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Denmark leads EU countries on wind energy

European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated. The European Commission describes it as one of the fasting-growing energy sources, while the sector itself aims to get wind power to account for 20 percent of final EU electricity consumption by 2020. In 2011, wind accounted for 6.3 percent up from 5.3 percent the year before.  Germany and Spain are Europe's leading producers of wind power followed by France, Italy and the UK. More renewable power capacity was installed last year in the EU than ever before. And wind power accounted for just over 21 percent of the installations.

In Denmark, wind power accounted for 24 percent of domestic electricity production in 2011 - the highest figure in Europe. Twelve years ago, renewable power installations totalled 3.5 gigawatts (GW). By 2011, the sector grew ten-fold and generated 32 GW. Investment is also increasing. Last year, around €12.6 billion was invested in EU wind farms. In 2010, the figure was under €10 billion. Meanwhile, EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger wrote on Tuesday (7 February) that Europe’s oil bill increased by €100 billion for 2010-11.

"It is high time that we put a plug in this hole and redirect our money from importing energy from outside the EU to making energy investments in Europe," he wrote in an op-ed co-authored by Denmark's minister of energy for EUobserver. The EWEA report also warns the EU is now installing more coal power plants than it is has decommissioned - only the third year this has happened in the EU since 1998. For the EU to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020, more green energy needs to be generated, says the organisation.


Credit crunch worsening

Denmark’s credit crunch is getting worse as businesses accuse banks of withholding funds and the financial regulator warns that deteriorating asset quality may put more lenders out of business. “When we ask our companies, small- and medium-sized, they say they are experiencing a credit crunch and it has become worse in the last month,” Karsten Dybvad, chief executive officer of the Danish Confederation of Industry, said in an interview in Copenhagen.

Dybvad’s group, which represents 10,000 Danish firms, wants the financial regulator to give banks more leeway in meeting capital requirements so they don’t call in loans and fuel a vicious circle that’s stifling the $300 billion economy. In a December survey of confederation members, two thirds said they had limited access to financing, while one in five said an absence of funds was the biggest obstacle for growth.

Three Danish banks, including Amagerbanken A/S, failed last year after the FSA required them to restate bad loans, leaving them in breach of capital rules. Two of the failures pushed losses on to senior creditors and exacerbated a funding squeeze that’s frozen most of Denmark’s 120 banks out of debt markets.


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark turns 40

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark celebrated her 40th birthday on Feb. 5, and the palace has released a new set of pictures to mark the milestone. The Australian-born royal, who married Crown Prince Frederik in 2004, reportedly said she is embracing this "wonderful stage" in her life.

"I think it is nice to get older. I don't think about my physical age," she told the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende. She added, "At 40 years old you simply know what life is about. I am happy to continue with my journey through time."

Frederik and Mary are parents to Prince Christian, 6, Princess Isabella, 4, and 1-year-old twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. The Danish royal family recently celebrated another new addition - Princess Marie and Prince Joachim welcomed their second child, a daughter, on Jan. 24.

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