Oil and renewables steal the spotlight, as natural gas consumption takes a downturn in 2022
The Danish Energy Agency has published the preliminary energy statistics for 2022, outlining that natural gas consumption declined last year due to price volatility in response to the global energy crisis. On the other hand, oil and renewables were on the rise in the energy consumption mix.
According to the Danish Energy Agency, the consumption of natural gas fell by 29 per cent last year, contributing to the actual energy consumption drop of 1.5 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021. The year now behind us enabled solar and wind power to cover almost 60 per cent of the electricity supply in 2022 against 47 per cent the year before.
Furthermore, the drop in actual energy consumption in 2022 was driven by a fall in the consumption of natural gas and lower coal consumption of 3.4 per cent. The government agency explains that the decrease in the consumption of natural gas can be explained by the fact that the price of gas increased in 2022 as a result of the Ukraine crisis, encouraging consumers to save on gas.
In addition, the production of bio-natural gas, which displaces natural gas, increased, so that, the share in 2022 was 33 per cent of the total supply of pipeline gas. In contrast, the consumption of oil products, which increased by 5.3 per cent, arose primarily as a consequence of increased sales of fuel for domestic and international aviation from Danish airports, says the agency.
Moreover, the consumption of renewable energy in 2022 was boosted by 5.3 per cent and the production of electricity from wind power and solar cells increased by 22 per cent. Aside from increased production of electricity based on wind power and solar cells, the consumption of biogas (increased by around 11 per cent) and ambient heat from heat pumps also ramped up.
As a consequence of the overall lower consumption of fossil fuels – encompassing fuel sold for international aviation from Danish airports – the Danish Energy Agency underscores that the actual CO2 emissions from energy consumption fell by 0.9 per cent in 2022. When the emissions from energy consumption are corrected for climate fluctuations and fuel consumption linked to net electricity imports, a decrease of 3.8 per cent is seen.
Meanwhile, the government agency highlights that the gross energy consumption corrected for fuel consumption linked to net electricity imports and climate fell by 2.7 per cent in 2022, as oil consumption rose by 4.8 per cent while the consumption of natural gas fell by 28 per cent and the consumption of coal fell by 16 per cent. By comparison, the consumption of renewable energy increased by 1.7 per cent.
The Danish Energy Agency points out that the total production of energy increased by 6.9 per cent compared to 2021, driven by the jump in renewable energy production, despite the production of crude oil and natural gas being largely unchanged.
In lieu of this, Denmark’s energy self-sufficiency rate was 60 per cent in 2022, which means that the country’s production of energy covered 60 per cent of the energy that it consumed last year in the form of crude oil, natural gas and renewable energy etc.
The Danish Energy Agency emphasises that this is an increase of 5 per cent, which can be attributed to the lower energy consumption in 2022 combined with a higher production of renewable energy from, among other things, wind turbines.
Denmark is putting the wheels into motion to speed up decarbonisation with carbon capture and storage (CCS). To this end, the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Supply granted the country’s first-ever permits for full-scale CO2 storage in the North Sea in February 2023.
This came after the Danish Energy Agency granted the first-ever permit for a CO2 storage project at the end of 2022 to INEOS E&P and Wintershall Dea for the Greensand Pilot Injection Project. The following month, INEOS and Wintershall Dea carried out the first-ever injection of CO2 in the North Sea as part of Project Greensand.