The case of Denmark- 50% energy savings for buildings

By GREGERS REIMANN

The case of Denmark- 50% energy savings for buildings

Denmark underwent a rapid exponential growth in energy consumption, which came to an abrupt end in the 1970s
when the oil crisis struck.

Being 96% dependent on imported energy, Denmark decided to embark on a path of energy efficiency. As a result, Denmark’s energy consumption has remained virtually constant ever since – even though the GDP (gross domestic product) has continued to rise by about 80%.

The building sector played an important role in achieving this remarkable energy efficiency. In fact, the entire building stock of Denmark has seen a reduction of its energy consumption by 50%, more specifically, the energy consumption for heating per sq m of building space has dropped by half.

This was achieved by a combination of the energy retrofitting of existing buildings and by introducing a strict energy building code for new buildings.

Perhaps Malaysia, which has seen an almost fourfold increase in its energy demand over the last 20 years, can seek some inspiration from Denmark’s example of pursuing energy efficiency?

Incidentally, Denmark just received the Energy Efficiency Visionary Award. It is also accelerating its efforts to become 100% fossil fuel-free by 2050.

>> Gregers Reimann is the managing director of IEN Consultants Sdn Bhd, a pioneering green building consultancy in Malaysia with several award-winning building projects.

>> References: “Energy Statistics 2012”, Danish Energy Agency; “Energy Use in a Maturing Society: Case of Denmark”, Jørgen S. Nørgaard and Bente L. Christensen, 2001; “Malaysia: Second National Communication to the UNFCCC”, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia, 2014.

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