Creating a green and sustainable society is one of the key goals for Denmark. More than 20 per cent of Denmark's energy already comes from renewable energy, and the goal is to reach 100 per cent by 2050. Much of the renewable energy comes from wind turbines, where Denmark is a world leader when it comes to developing new technology.
The Danes are well known for their love of cycling, and cities all around the world are now looking at ways to copy this phenomenon. It really is biking heaven for the cyclist in Copenhagen with over 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes.
The Danish cycling culture is another example of a green and sustainable society and Copenhagen alone has around 400 km of cycle paths, and about 40 per cent of the capital's population commute to work by bicycle. Copenhagen is one of the best bicycle cities in the world - but the plan is to make it even better by building a lot of new green bicycle lanes around Copenhagen. This means that bikes will be separated from motorized traffic, which will make it safer and easier for the cyclists to get around. The goal of the city is that in 2015, 50 per cent of commuting will be done by bike, thus lowering annual CO2 emission by 80,000 tons.
It’s windy in Denmark, which helps explain why Denmark is so skilled at capturing the power of the wind. With 28 per cent wind power in the electricity system, Denmark is a nation that many others are looking to in order to discover sustainable energy solutions for the future. However, plentiful wind is not necessarily synonymous with a strong wind industry. Denmark's achievement in bringing 28 per cent wind power into the electricity system is built on several key factors, that together have made Denmark the world’s Wind Power Hub.
First-mover in wind power
Denmark’s role as a first-mover in both onshore and offshore wind power has been important. The lessons learned through the early years of setting up wind turbines across the nation have been pivotal. The industry has developed through innovative thinking and experience which have helped create core competencies in production, design and installation of wind turbines that are sought after worldwide. To date, Danish companies have installed more than 90 per cent of the world's offshore wind turbines. With a constant aim of bringing down the cost of energy, Denmark expects to remain the dominant player in the offshore wind turbine market for years to come. Europe's offshore wind power capacity is expected to see a tenfold increase, just in this decade!
Wind power – a strong competitor
Danes are positive about wind power. Recent surveys show that most of the population would welcome more wind energy in the electricity system. Denmark is also a progressive country in its energy policy, which supports an increase in renewable energy – and wind in particular. Political support rests on the fact that onshore wind power is cost competitive with any type of newly built electricity generating technology and that wind is inexhaustible, stable and forever free-of-charge. Based on the above factors, the wind industry today is part of the backbone of the export earnings of theDanish economy.
Moving towards a sustainable future
The world faces many obstacles in the battle against fossil fuels and climate change. Denmark sees many good reasons for continuing the development of wind power, and the government has set the target of 50 per cent wind power in the electricity system by 2020. Although ambitious, the target is in line with the overall vision to make Denmark completely free of dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. At that time the Danish energy system will consist purely of renewable energy, with wind being the
Wind is a major industry in Denmark employing around 25,000 people, and wind energy supplies more than 25 per cent of the electricity consumed in Denmark. The goal is to reach 50 per cent by 2020.
Copenhagen - the first carbon neutral capital in the world
Mayors, town planners and politicians from all over the world have often visited Copenhagen in recent years to study its bicycle traffic, district heating system or its waste management. In various respects Copenhagen is a role model for many of the world’s big cities when it comes to sustainable town development.
Meet a green rooftop enthusiast who takes you for sightseeing in Copenhagen to show you some of the city's green roofs.
Work/Life Balance - the Danish way
Could it be that the Danes are always being voted the happiest people in the world because of their healthy balance between work and private life?
Denmark prides itself on having a healthy work-life balance. The Danish welfare model, with its flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities, not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality league table, but also contributes to a generally high standard of living.
Today, work-life balance has become a debate about how much we allow work to consume us. For some, work is a major priority, while for others family and leisure time are valued more highly. There are as many work-life balance equations as there are individuals
Yet many countries are now trying to emulate the Danish quality of life and generally high standard of living. Four families living In Denmark tell us about their own experience of work-life balance.
Work-life balance literally means prioritising between work (career and ambition) on the one hand and life (health, pleasure, leisure, spirituality and family) on the other.
Danes enjoy a high degree of flexibility at work – often being able to choose when they start their working day and having the flexibility of working from home.
The lunch break is often at a designated time each day, enabling colleagues to interact and eat together, thus getting away from their desks.
There is a minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners.
The Danish welfare society is characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance.
HOME SWEET HOME - How do Danes live?
For a small country with only 5.5 million inhabitants, the Danes have a high profile abroad. Whether it’s regarding world-class design, cinema, TV crime thrillers or new Nordic food, Denmark regularly makes international headlines. Denmark is well known for having the highest taxes in the world and one of the highest standards of living in Western Europe. It is also one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, while each year the Danes give 0.8% of their Gross National Income to foreign aid.
Find out some interesting facts below and learn more by reading personal stories from Danes about their homes and lifestyles.
Denmark has very generous maternity leave for both parents. Children born in 2011 were happy to see that their parents stayed at home to look after them for 311 days after their birth. The mothers accounted for the greater part with 295 days, while the fathers had 36 days.
Immigrants and descendants
In January 2013, immigrants and descendants comprised 10.7 per cent of the total Danish population (600,674 persons) – about 8.1 per cent are immigrants and 2.6 per cent are descendants. 54 per cent of all immigrants and descendants originate from a European country.
Together they represent about 200 different countries. Turkey, Germany, and Poland represent the highest shares of immigrants and descendants.
Danes love of democracy – Electoral turnout
In connection with the first four elections in the 1970s, more than 87 per cent of the electorate exercised their right to vote. Subsequent elections have attracted fluctuating electoral turnout, with the minimum rate being 82.8 per cent in 1990.The latest general election attracted 87.7 per cent of all voters. The electoral turnout in Denmark is among the highest in Europe.