More investment in green innovation needed: Danish clean energy conference

If the transition to green energy is to be successful, it will require more investment in innovation.

More investment in green innovation needed: Danish clean energy conference
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

This was the message at the Clean Energy Investment Forum, which took place this week at Copenhagen’s Industriens Hus, writes

New innovative solutions are the way forward if the energy sector is to become more green, meaning investment is crucial, said participants at the forum, which brought together international representatives from governments, businesses and investors.

The conference was a part of the Nordic Clean Energy Week, which was co-hosted by Denmark and Sweden.

At the conference, Tine Roed, director of the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), said that although Denmark is a leader in clean energy, that success must not be taken for granted.

“For several years, private sector investments in research have not increased. We must take a leap now – both when it comes to public and private investments in research – if we are to maintain our leading position within energy technology. We can see that there is a correlation between the money we spend on research and how much we export. That is yet another reason to increase investments,” Roed said.

The DI director therefore welcomed the dialogue at the conference.

Bo Svoldgaard, senior vice president with Danish wind power giant Vestas, said the company had a “clear focus on investing Vestas into the future”.

If clean energy is to be attractive, it is necessary to continue researching and investing in technology and the testing of that technology, so there is still a need for more publicly funded projects, Svoldgaard said.

“We want to return to the ‘energy billion’,” the Vestas vice director said, referring to cuts to public funding for energy research, which currently amounts to 500 million kroner (67 million euros).

Denmark’s Minister of Energy Lars Lilleholt acknowledged that more investment in green power would be needed in the future, both domestically and globally.

“We need action. We need more investments in clean energy. It will require investments of millions of dollars towards 2050. It is a challenge, but it is also a possibility. The clean energy transition can create jobs, economic development and a better environment – and we can make it happen if we cooperate across borders,” Lilleholt said.

United States Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, who was also present at the conference, said the US will continue to take an active role in innovation and in making the necessary investments, but added that clean energy transition in his view involves use of both new energy sources and cleaner use of fossil fuels.

“We live in exciting times where we are seeing a cascade of technological breakthroughs driven by innovation. Right now in the US, we are not only producing a surplus of cheap energy from many more sources than we had dared to hope. We are also using the energy in a far cleaner way than before – and that means lower CO2 emissions,” Brouillette said.

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