Energy Research Knowledge Centre


Research themes and prioritisation


Along with security of supply, energy savings and green growth, expanding the use of renewable energy in Denmark is at the core of Danish energy policy. The long-term goal for Danish energy policy is to supply the entire energy demand – electricity, heating, industry and transport – from renewable energy by 2050. Denmark plans to be getting 50 % of its energy from wind power by 2020.

The foci of Denmark’s energy policy are energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy. With these objectives in mind, the Danish government has identified the need for new solutions in areas such as intelligent regulation of the power grid, energy storage and new RE technologies. Increasing the efficiency of energy consumption is essential to allowing fossil energy to be phased out, and is a high priority in the research and development programmes.

Organisation of research


The institutional landscape for energy technology R&D in Denmark is complex. Organisations responsible for setting priorities include the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, and the Ministry for Science, Innovation and Higher Education. Other ministries contributing include the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of the Environment. Agencies and intermediary bodies include the Danish Energy Agency, the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the Danish Board of Technology, the Board of Danish Research Councils (and six Danish Research Councils), the Fund for Advanced Technology (an independent government board) and the grid operator

The six Research Councils are the Danish Council for Independent Research; the Danish National Research Foundation; the Danish Council for Strategic Research; the Advanced Technology Foundation; and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation.

The government supports research, development and demonstration (RD&D) directly by funding institutions and programmes. To a great extent, public funding is prioritised on the basis of strategies devised jointly between industry, research communities and authorities. A relatively large amount is spent on demonstrating and supporting the market penetration of newly developed energy technologies.

There is a close link between industry and universities for clearly defined technologies. In addition, there are programmes (so-called public service obligations or PSOs) that are designed and implemented by Danish utilities in cooperation with the Danish Energy Agency.

Figure 1. The most important organisations in Denmark’s energy infrastructure

Programmes and budgets


A number of specific flagship programmes have been established to support the long-term Energy Strategy 2050 as well as current Danish commercial strengths. The framework conditions for clean technology companies were strengthened by establishing Green Labs DK. Green Labs DK supports the establishment of large-scale test facilities for demonstrating new climate and energy technologies.

Budget overview

Energy-related RD&D in Denmark is very much related to the subjects defined in the national energy policy. Bioenergy represents 26 % of the budget for energy research, 17 % is for wind energy, 13 % for energy efficiency, 16 % for hydrogen and fuel cells in the transport and building sectors, and 13 % for energy systems. The remainder of the energy R&D budget (18 %) is spent on developing technologies including solar, wave, and geothermal.

Table 1: The main energy research programmes in Danmark.

Programmes and initiatives

Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EDDP)

Energiteknologisk udvikling & demonstration (EUDP)

EDDP funds the development of new climate-friendly energy technologies. The aim is to promote energy efficiency and help make Denmark independent of fossil energy by 2050. Projects supported by EDDP must also aim to develop Danish commercial potential, so as to promote growth and employment. EDDP has a basic budget of €50.3 million a year solely for supporting Danish companies that focus on new energy technologies and their introduction to the global market.

Strategic Research in Sustainable Energy and Environment

Strategisk forskning – Bæredygtig energi og miljø

The Danish Council for Strategic Research supports research into sustainable energy and the environment. In 2013 the Council is more specifically supports activities within the following themes: Energy Technologies and Energy Systems of the Future (€36.2 million); and Environmental Technology (€4 million).

RD&D in Biogas Technologies and Their Interaction With the Gas Network (ForskNG)

Forskning at udvikle det danske gassystem – ForskNG(ForskNG)

A programme supporting RD&D in biogas technologies and their interaction with the gas network. In this context biogas technologies comprise both “true” biogas and gas produced from biomass via thermal gasification. The programme is managed by the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building and has an approximate annual budget of €35 million (figures from 2009–2011).

Dissemination of Minor Renewable EnergyTechnologies (ForskVE)

Demonstration og udbredelse af de små VE-teknologier ForskVE

Disseminates minor renewable energy technologies which, in this context, are defined as biogasification, photovoltaics and wave power. The programme is managed by the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building. The budget is approximately €20 million per year for 2008–2013.

Support for Research and Development of Environmentally Friendly Power Generation Technologies (ForskEL)

Forskning & udvikling af miljøvenlige elproduktionsteknologier – ForskEL

The research programme is financed by a public service obligation (PSO) and designed to support the development and integration of environmentally friendly power generation technologies for grid connection. The programme is managed by the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building and has a budget of approximately €17.4 million for 2013.

National govermment departments


Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building

Klima-, Energi- og Bygningsministeriet

The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building is made up of, among other sections, the Department, the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), the Danish Energy Agency, the Energy Board of Appeals, the Danish Energy Savings Trust and The Department is responsible primarily for coordinating and developing domestic climate and energy policy, and negotiating and implementing international agreements and EU regulations.

Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education


This ministry consists of the Danish Agency for Universities and Internationalisation; the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation; and the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Educational Support.

Ministry of Environment


The Ministry of Environment is responsible for administrative and research tasks in environmental protection and planning. At the regional and local levels, much of the administrative responsibility has been delegated to municipalities. The Ministry consists of three agencies and several independent Environment Centres across the country.

National research programme management agencies


Danish Energy Agency


The Danish Energy Agency is responsible for tasks linked to the production, transport and use of energy, and their impact on climate. The Agency must also ensure the legal and political framework for reliable, affordable and clean supply of energy in Denmark. The Agency resides under the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Buildings. It is also responsible for funding energy research programmes.

Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation

Styrelsen for Forskning og Innovation (FI)

This Agency resides under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. It performs tasks relating to research and innovation policy, and provides secretariat services to – and supervises – the scientific research councils which allocate funds for independent research, strategic research and innovation in fields including energy.

Danish Council for Strategic Research

Det Strategiske Forskningsråd

This Agency, which resides under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, seeks to ensure that strategic research in Denmark is organised to meet the challenges facing Danish society. The aim is to ensure Denmark’s position as a global frontrunner in welfare, wealth and science, in both the short and the long term. In 2012 available research funds included one for Strategic Research in Sustainable Energy and Environment.

Funding organisations at national level


Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation


The Foundation offers grants in the form of co-funding for high-technology research and innovation initiatives and projects. Each initiative or project must meet three criteria: obvious commercial potential; technology transfer; and collaboration between public-sector research institutions and private-sector companies. A quarter of the projects relate to energy technology.