Gør biogassen bæredygtig
Klima-, energi- og bygningsminister Martin Lidegaards tale til Nordic biogas Conference i Bella Centeret d. 23. april. 2012
Talen er på engelsk.
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Good morning everybody and thanks for having me here today. I hope you’re all fuelled up on coffee, ‘cause we have an exiting day ahead of us.
Personally I already had a very exiting morning. Wow – what a trip! I don’t know if you saw me, but I just arrived in a gasdriven vehicle and I can tell you; that baby sure could accelerate!
An experience quite different from negotiating our new energy agreement.
You might have heard that a large majority in the Danish Parliament recently agreed to kick start our national journey to a carbon free energy sector by 2050.
A historic victory, but I must admit, that along the long a winding road I didn’t exactly feel like lightening Mcqueen, but more like being on a remake of Around the world in 80 days in a big fat balloon.
But you know they say; Patience is a virtue and my patience certainly paid off ten-fold in the end.
But our efforts don't end there. For this agreement is about far more than the next 9 years. It’s about recovering from the current crisis and it's about sustained growth and widely shared prosperity.
And that’s what I want to talk about today:
What the Danish government has done to boost the biogas sector, what challenges I see laying ahead and what you as a sector can do.
The key words are:
Sustainability, increased European cooperation and innovation. Let me get back to that.
First I wanna tell you how wonderful it is to be here among the grand winners of the green revolution. You are truly the first in line in the green race.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about skyrocketing oil prices and high speed Asian economies. That the financial and the climate and resource crisis is a roaring reality.
In this sector you know, that we have to reboot our energy system with clean, safe and inexpensive energy.
There’s no doubt about what biogas can contribute to that equation: Production of clean, green energy, reduction of green house gas emissions and recycling of organic wastes.
But that’s not all: Let’s not forget how it creates jobs and sparks green growth − not least in our rural areas.
And as we increase the amount of fluctuating energy in the grid biogas will play an increasingly important role.
That’s why the Danish government has given biogas a major boost in the new energy agreement.
Indeed we aim to increase biogas production 4-5 fold before 2020.
Let me give you a few examples:
First; We increase the subsidies decisively and will be diversifying the use of biogas.
Secondly; We already have a rather well expanded grid system for natural gas. The grid is the obvious solution for a wider distribution of biogas as well as other types of green gasses such as hydrogen and gasification of biomass.
Just as we are looking at the possibility to use biogas for industrial purposes and as vehicle fuel as well.
Finally; We wish to expand the biogas sector rapidly in order to be able to produce biogas from around 50 percent of our animal manures already by 2020 and going for a full coverage using almost all manures in biogas plants by 2030.
This will provide renewable energy, but it will also contribute to reduce green house gas emissions from agriculture.
I’m happy to learn that the new framework for biogas is met by blooming optimism among Danish biogas producers who already expect to expand and hire new staff.
I know, there has been some worry that we’re gonna see widespread football fields of corn all around us.
I’m certainly aware of the concerns, and that’s why we pair the new incentives in the energy agreement with a new analysis of the use of bioenergy focusing especially on efficiency and sustainability.
If we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do it right!
But – and let me stress this – You ought to do it right too!
Biogas producers must take responsibility to ensure sustainable production of biogas.
And that’s my first recommendation to you: We simply cannot rely on biomass and biogas in the future energy system if it isn’t sustainable.
This may be a challenge, but it’s certainly also an opportunity: In fact I’m convinced that sustainability standards will provide the sector with a sharp competitive edge.
Naturally the usage and the frame conditions vary across the European map, but the sector needs to show both the inclination and the ability to act responsibly.
This brings me to my second point:
That in the long run – say, 25 years from now – the national differences will become smaller and green gasses will be integrated in the international market of energy. Like what we are seeing happening right now for green electricity.
The first certificates for green gas has already been issued.
20 years is a short time in this business, which is why we need a plan for 2030 and further.
I believe one of the answers is to work closer at a European level.
The Danish EU presidency is working hard on ensuring common ground on the road to a low carbon Europe.
Finally, research, development, demonstration, and exchange of knowledge are keywords for the future of biogas, keywords for this conference and they are the building blocks of innovation.
When we fail to invest in research, we fail to invest in the future.
In Denmark we have already decided to invest almost 150 million Euros in energy research.
And we support the EU’s research program Horizon 2020, which is expected to pump 600 billion into new research, including renewable energy technology, energy efficiency and smart grids.
This should help the world curb climate change – and help Europe make it in the global green race.
In a booming global market Europe must be innovative to make it in the fierce competition.
Just take China for example, where the market increases with over 25 percent per year.
How do we make it in this race? We simply need to be more innovative.
In the future we’ll see “Smart biogas plants” with more high tech on the way to make the plants even more efficient. We need to be on top of this development.
Ensuring sustainability, increased European cooperation and innovation will surely benefit the biogas sector as well.
I look forward to hear all of your mindblowing ideas and seeing all of the cool stuff you’re making.
What we have here in this community is talented people, entrepreneurs and world-class innovators. All the right ingredients for growth, success and a better future.
Yes, the future looks extremely bright indeed, with lots of possibilities ahead. Big possibilities. Like the Carpenters once sang: “We've just begun”.