Denmark has been nothing short of successful in terms of its clean energy goals, even meeting and exceeding them as much as 8 years early. The newest goal to come from Copenhagen is to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2025, which will make it the world’s first carbon-neutral capital.
Some of the changes that will be made to reach this goal include adding more wind and solar to the grid, replacing coal with biomass, improving energy efficiency, improving the infrastructure for bike use, and improving public transportation.
When compared to the rest of the world, Denmark is lightyears ahead of many in all of these categories. 36% of work and school trips are taken by bike, and an average of 20,000 cyclists head into the city every day. The new goal is to have 75% of all trips made by bike, foot, or public transit by 2025, and 44 miles of new bike tracks are scheduled for installation.
The “City Circle Line” is currently under construction to help with mass transit, which will put 85% of Copenhagen’s population within 650 yards of a Metro station once it’s completed in 2018.
As far as clean energy, 30% of Denmark’s electricity currently comes from wind power, and waste heat from power plants is put through a one-of-a-kind system that reuses it to heat local buildings. This has reduced emissions by 21% between 2005 and 2011, with current emissions at around 2 million tons of CO2 a year.
“Copenhageners like the ambition, they like being part of the idea of going green for the whole city,” said Frank Jensen, Copenhagen Lord Mayor. “Our focus as a city, as citizens, is all about livability.” In fact, he also mentioned that many residents are investing their own money into clean projects, and that half of the wind turbines in the local wind farm were funded by individual shareholders.
With all that ambition, Copenhagen could essentially become a green hub for testing new projects and encouraging other cities to try them out for themselves. In other news, I really want to move to Denmark.
Image CC licensed by JamesZ: Copenhagen