The Danish agricultural sector is facing the green transition and many ideas have been proposed to reach climate neutrality in 2050. In this brief, we suggest two pathways to climate neutrality to follow the general goals of a 70% reduction in 2030 and a 100% reduction in 2050.
70% green house gas reduction by 2030
100% green house gas neutral by 2050
No animal feed import by 2050
Technology optimistic or technology independent
The first scenario is a technology optimistic scenario while the second scenario to a larger extent can reach the goals without the technological development. In both scenarios, a large increase in the forest areas is necessary such that the forest area in 2050 is approximately double the area of today.
In the technology optimistic scenario, the amount of farm animals can be kept on the same level as today because the biogas and pyrolysis plants can reduce part of the emissions and the forests compensate for the rest of the emissions. In the technology independent scenario, it is necessary to reduce the amount of farm animals to reach the climate targets.
FOREST 1.000.000 ha, roughly 23% of the Danish land mass, must be covered in forest by 2050.
The forestation should happen sooner rather than later so 160.000 – 200.000 ha should be converted into forest already by 2030.
LOW LAND AREAS 100.000 ha carbon rich low land soil should be converted into nature areas by 2030.
All 178.700 ha low land soil must be converted into nature by 2050.
ANIMALS In a technology optimistic scenario, with a sharp increase in forest area, the animal production can remain the same size as today.
In a technology independent scenario a 15% reduction in animal production by 2030, and a 30% reduction in 2050 relative to today is necessary.
If the steep forest area does not happen, a further reduction in the animal production is necessary.
What is needed for the Danish agriculture and forestry to become climate neutral? How should the limited Danish area be distributed in the future? How can we utilize the available Danish biomass resources?
These are some of the tricky questions the Danish bio-resource model (DK-BioRes) can help answering.
If you want to create your own scenarios, the model is available open source in our GitHub repository.
Energy Modelling Lab has developed the flow-based model DK-BioRes containing all Danish biomass resources from both agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.
The model serves as a foundation for political decisions towards reaching the national climate goals.
The model can be connected to the full national energy model, DK-TIMES.
TRAINING THE USERS
A crucial part of the project is training the analysts from the Danish Energy Agency in using the DK-BioRes model.
Through the series of courses Energy Modelling Lab has been training both regular and super users.
When discussing how expensive the green transition becomes for the Danish society, it is important to consider more aspects than only the investments needed.
Our results show that when looking solely on the saved health costs from the reduction in air pollution, the society can save 10 to 20 billion Danish kroner per year.
Several Danish studies estimates the cost of the transition to be approximately 13 to 26 billion Danish kroner a year from 2025 to the year when the transition is complete. These costs often do not include the savings for the society in terms of, e.g., less air pollution.
It is a key piece in the future energy puzzle to capture carbon. CO2 is captured directly from the air, from industry chimneys or in agriculture. This carbon can be used for two things. Either you can produce CO2-neutral fuels through Power2X-technologies. Alternatively the CO2 can be stored in the ground.
The project investigates the cost, potential and limitations to the carbon streams.
MODELLING These new technologies, that can deliver and utilise carbon capture, was added to the Danish Energy System Model (TIMES-DK). This allows the model to run scenarios that achieves long term climate neutrality.