Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) – a global initiative led by the UN Secretary General - guides the Danish support to energy and development. The Initiative’s three specific goals for 2030 are: universal access to modern energy services; doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Energy is one of the most important enablers of development. Despite progress achieved in many countries to improve access to electricity there are still an estimated 1.15 billion people, or around 15 % of the world’s population, who still lack access to electricity, and 2.8 billion people, or 40 % of the world’s population, who are dependent on traditional use of biomass for cooking and heating.
The world’s need for primary energy has remained high due to a major shift in demand toward rapidly growing developing countries. Events of the past five years have demonstrated that non-OECD countries will play an increasing role in shaping energy market dynamics, as these countries are projected to account for 70 % of the increase in economic output and 90 % of energy demand growth over the period from 2010 to 2035. Furthermore, analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that the world is not on track to realise the interim 2020 targets needed to keep climate change-related temperature rises below 2°C (compared with pre-industrial levels). Finding and implementing low carbon pathways, particularly in the energy sector and especially in countries where demand for energy is projected to see large increases, is critical if catastrophic climate outcomes are to be avoided.
In the Danish Strategic Framework for Natural Resources, Energy and Climate Change (September 2012) it follows that Danish multilateral support to energy and development will in particular focus on upstream, policy related interventions. Under the guidance of SE4ALL, Denmark supports both multilateral interventions as well as bilateral cooperation to further access by the developing countries to sustainable energy, the implementation of energy efficiencies and the spread of climate-friendly energy technologies. This is accomplished among other things by support for building up local knowledge and capacity, policy development, strategies and favorable framework conditions, technical assistance and market development and concrete investment opportunities and by strengthening local businesses in the developing countries.
In this context, increasing energy efficiency is a critical element of energy and development, both for the climate change mitigation benefits and to offset some of the increased cost in shift to more renewable energy. Energy efficiency measures cover a range of measures e.g. performance standards in buildings for lighting, new appliances, and for new heating and cooling equipment, in industry for motor systems and, in transport for road vehicles. Supporting actions and substantial investments are needed to overcome the barriers to effective implementation and to realize the potential, but the cost will be more than offset by reduced spending on fuel bills if favourable regulatory frameworks were in place. Denmark therefore supports the SE4ALL Energy Efficiency Hub located in the UN-City in Copenhagen with the aim to champion the cause of Energy Efficiency globally, to provide analytical support to achieve the energy efficiency goal, and to develop the Hub as an international knowledge centre and platform for exchange on energy efficiency. The Hub will have a special focus on supporting developing countries and emerging economies in achieving their ambitions in the area of energy efficiency.
In addition to the SE4ALL Energy Efficiency hub, Denmark supports the World Bank’s energy programme, ESMAP, to increase sustainable energy capacity in developing countries. Denmark also cooperates with the IEA on energy efficiency and energy subsidy reform, the African Development Bank to help local energy producers to prepare their investment projects in sustainable energy and procure venture capital to finance the projects. Bilaterally, Denmark supports e.g. Nepal and Indonesia to increase access to energy in isolated rural districts and strengthen local economic and social development. Through UNEP, the UN’s Environment Programme, Denmark supports the UNEP DTU Partnership, which provides the developing countries with energy advisory support and which has succeeded in establishing itself as a key actor in energy consultancy.