Danish solutions to global environmental challenges
Denmark is a front-runner in eco-efficient technology. We have contributed to advancing the agenda - through relentless political pressure; through the power of example; and not least through adopting new types of environmental regulations that incorporate environmental technology as an integral aspect of development, for example, as in the new agricultural regulations. There are measures that purposefully push forward new technologies from research and development environments, and this is vital if we are to decouple environmental impact from economic growth. We have been successful in several areas in Denmark, and amongst other things this has provided us with an excellent window for Danish products and experience.
The government is now making public Denmark’s first collective plan for technological development and innovation for the environment and resources. The plan will help ensure that Denmark continues to be a leader in this area, by establishing clear goals, targeted investments and new regulations that combined make it attractive for Danish enterprises to take the lead. For the benefit of the environment; and for the benefit of the Danish business community.
Unquestionably, the active participation of businesses is a decisive factor for innovation and renewal of the effort in Denmark, including participation in partnerships, activities and the evaluation of market opportunities. Partnerships where enterprises, researchers and the authorities set common goals and create funding to accelerate technological innovation are necessary to maintain our lead in numerous areas. Development must be supported and perhaps ‘kick-started’ by the public authorities, but on the other hand value is created in enterprises, among researchers and by people at home.
There is no doubt that climate change is an enormous challenge. The problem can only be solved through an ambitious, global mixture of remedies. Global political agreements and massive investments are necessary. We need new approaches and innovative thinking. New technologies that are less resource-demanding must be developed and adopted. Otherwise, the challenge becomes unmanageable.
Climate change is typical of the vast environmental challenges of our time, including, for example, reducing air pollution, ensuring clean drinking water, reducing the amount of chemicals used daily, halting the loss of biodiversity and developing cleaner livestock production. Common for each of these challenges is that efficient solutions are those that implement eco-efficient technology and that accelerate the development and demand for new technologies.
Connie Hedegaard, Minister for the Environment
1. Introduction and objectives
1.1 Eco-efficient technologies are the solution
Climate change. A shortage of clean water. Harmful air pollution.
The world is facing numerous environmental challenges that it will be difficult to overcome without the aid of new eco-efficient technologies. With this action plan, the government will contribute to further developing Danish strongholds within eco-efficient technology. The aim is for environmental, development and economic growth to go hand in hand.
Technology already plays a decisive role in our efforts to protect the environment and its resources. In our daily lives, there is technology everywhere that limits pollution from production, transport and consumption; from the catalytic converters in automobiles to energy and water-saving enzymes for sewage treatment. Without the targeted application of eco-efficient technology, environmental problems would be much more serious than they are today.
The need for new smarter technologies will increase. The pressure put on water resources is rising. The amount of chemicals used daily remains high. Air pollution in cities is a severe problem in most of the world. Energy efficient and renewable energy resources are of high priority everywhere for the sake of the economy, security of supply and climate change.
Water, chemicals, particle pollution and climate change are just a few of the obvious examples of environmental problems that will be difficult to solve without halting development, unless there is focus on the continued development of eco-efficient technologies. Moreover, our growing knowledge and technological abilities give us new opportunities for sustainable production and consumption as well to improve health and safety at work; opportunities that we must fully exploit.
Denmark and Danish enterprises are leading the way in the development and application of eco-efficient technology. At least 60,000 Danes currently work in the nation’s more than 420 environmental enterprises, i.e. enterprises that provide environmental solutions as a significant part of their business. Denmark currently exports more than DKK 45 bn. in eco-efficient technology, of which DKK 39 bn. is in the energy sector. In other words, Denmark has been very successful at promoting eco-efficient technology and has a position that provides a good basis for the Danish business community in a market where there is a growing need for new technological solutions.
Denmark’s position did not just happen by itself. It is the result of many years of dedicated effort. Implementing environmental controls, incorporating environmental considerations in, for example, the energy, industrial, transport and agricultural sectors as well as targeting public investment in research and development are crucial. Even though public authorities and institutions play an important role in the environmental effort, enterprises are the primary creators of technological solutions.
Today, environmentally driven innovation is a feature of the daily activities of many enterprises. Accomplishing this has required investment, new ways of thinking and actively involving and upgrading the skills of employees. The environment has also become good business for many Danish enterprises that produce technology where reduced environmental impact is an important sales parameter.
What is eco-efficient technology?
Eco-efficient technology is any technology that either directly or indirectly improves the environment. It is about technologies for limiting pollution with the help of cleaning, about more environmentally friendly products and production processes, about more efficient energy and resource management and about technological systems that reduce the environmental impact. This interpretation is in accordance with the EU’s and OECD’s 2004 definition of environmental technology.
Eco-efficient technology includes, for example, wind turbines, flue gas cleaning, water treatment, enzymes for animal feed and washing powder, biofuel production, energy-efficient pumps, environmentally friendly replacements for phthalates, LED traffic lights, efficient ship engines, environmentally friendly salmon breeding farms and precision spraying equipment for agriculture.
1.2 The government’s objectives
With this action plan, the government intends to strengthen, renew and focus efforts to develop and apply eco-efficient technologies so that Denmark and Danish enterprises can continue their central role in solving the world’s most pressing environmental problems through technological innovation.
The government is of the opinion that efforts to promote eco-efficient technology are enhanced when planning is done coherently. Coherent efforts also provide a better payoff by focusing more sharply on the areas in which the global environmental impacts of the future are expected to require new solutions. The government will renew efforts in line with the renewed and modernised Danish research and innovation policy.
This action plan is also an important part of Denmark’s follow up to the EU’s Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) and the EU decision supported by Denmark, that eco-efficient technology must be incorporated in the overall higher priority being rendered by the EU countries to research and innovation efforts. Eco-efficient technology is a good example of a target area where successfully reaching the desired results is only possible if EU member states and EU institutions work together.
While preparing the action plan initiatives, the government has adopted a number of milestones for the renewal represented by the action plan:
The effort to promote eco-efficient technology is, to a great extent, about integrating consideration for the environment into technological development within the sectors that especially affect the environment, including energy, agriculture, transport, construction, industry and research and innovation.
The action plan will thus be implemented as collaboration between several ministries, each of which is in charge of the activities within their area of responsibility.
1.3 The action plan in brief
Eco-efficient technology is a Danish stronghold. The government supports enterprises that work with eco-efficient technology. The aim is to create new technologies that benefit the environment, welfare, exports, competitiveness and Denmark’s brand as a country with an innovative and knowledge-intensive business environment.
On this basis, the government is launching nine initiatives:
The content of the nine initiatives is looked at in detail in section 2 of the action plan. Development of the individual initiatives can be monitored at www.ecoinnovation.dk.
The action plan follows up on the government’s ”Report on the promotion of eco-efficient technology: The road to a better environment”, May 2006, and the political agreement of November 2006 between the Liberal Party, the Conservative People’s Party and the Danish People’s Party on the allocation of an Environmental Billion fund. Under the agreement, DKK 120 million of the Environmental Billion will be used for financing initiatives from this action plan. A number of initiatives from the action plan are also associated with other agreements in the annual budget for 2007, including the agreement on allocations from the globalisation pool for research, innovation and entrepreneurship. The action plan must be seen in context with the government’s proposal to strengthen Danish energy and climate policy as well as the multi-year plan for sustainable and environmentally correct livestock production, where the emphasis is also on promoting employment in rural districts.
In the report on eco-efficient technology the government announced that it would present an action plan for eco-efficient technology with a more elaborate description of the nine initiatives as well as a detailed plan for their implementation. A number of initiatives and activities that the government presented in the report on the promotion of eco-efficient technology had already been initiated by the government before this action plan was made public. This was done to get started quickly and to ensure the best possible interaction between the many activities the initiatives in the report build upon domestically and abroad. The timetable for this action plan indicates which initiatives have been set into motion and when the other initiatives are scheduled to start.
Moreover, efforts must be developed continuously to ensure the best possible synergy with related activities in Denmark and with EU initiatives. The action plan must interact with the EU’s action plan for environmental technology (ETAP) and EU environmental regulation, just as the specific initiatives in the action plan must support the development of new technology that can help contribute to cost-effective implementation of EU legislation.
1.4 Evaluation points
The nine initiatives in the action plan each contain a large number of activities, services and products. In this phase of the process, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list, but Denmark would like, for instance, to be evaluated on the basis of the following:
1.5 Division of responsibility
Enterprises can develop solutions that work and that can be sold on markets. Researchers can create new knowledge and communicate this to enterprises, the authorities, etc. And consumers are the first to tell about new trends and needs and they hold a key position when technologies have to be tested.
The authorities, of course, play a role when it comes to the economy, knowledge and regulation. The government sees the effort as an interface between a number of different political areas, including environmental policy, research and innovation policy, energy policy, agricultural policy, transport policy, foreign policy and industrial policy – just to mention the most significant.
The division of responsibility in the central government is shown below.
The action plan’s initiatives for promoting eco-efficient technology are financed by the following new funding:
Funding will also be added to this from a number of existing grants, for example:
The initiatives build upon a substantial existing effort. For example, the environment is estimated to be a significant element in 5-10per cent of the funding that is granted every year for research and development.
In 2006, public funding for research and development was DKK 12.6 bn. while private funding was approx. DKK 26 bn. The activities connected to the partnerships and the testing and demonstration of different eco-efficient technologies also require active financing from enterprises.
The new funds broken down between the nine initiative areas
2. The nine initiatives
2.1 Partnerships for innovation
Innovation has good conditions for growth when there is close collaboration between enterprises and between enterprises and public institutions. Strategic and committed collaboration between players in the Danish strongholds in eco-efficient technology can provide the synergy that is necessary to develop efficient, cheap and rapid solutions to environmental problems. Therefore, initially five partnerships will be established within water, industrial biotechnology, mega wind turbines, biofuels and hydrogen/fuel cells.
2.1.1 Current perspectives
The expectation is that the global market of the future will demand eco-efficient technological solutions to an even greater extent than it does today. In a number of areas, Danish enterprises possess world-class competencies. This is true within water, industrial biotechnology, wind energy, biofuels and hydrogen/fuel cells. In these areas, there is considerable potential to solve significant environmental problems while Danish enterprises can achieve increased turnover on export markets:
2.1.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like to strengthen public-private collaboration on eco-efficient innovation. Enterprises face a number of challenges when it comes to developing the technological solutions of the future – challenges that can best be met if different competences are pooled together and enterprises, researchers, consumers and the authorities work together in binding collaborations in order to conquer existing barriers so that Danish enterprises can also lead the way for the next generation of eco-efficient technology.
In some areas, knowledge-based institutions and enterprises already collaborate extensively, focusing on applied research, just as a number of networks have been established to promote company competitiveness. But the path from research and innovation to competitive technologies that benefit the environment and the Danish business community must be made shorter and an important part of this endeavour is the continued development of existing networks into actual binding partnerships. The government will support the facilitation of these partnerships, which must reflect the very different backgrounds and needs of the individual partnerships. A common feature for all of them is the goal of working jointly to develop and test the technologies and business concepts of the future.
In keeping with increased internationalisation and globalisation, the trend is towards more international collaboration regarding research and development. Danish research environments and businesses should also take part in the international knowledge sharing through active collaboration with foreign knowledge-based institutions and businesses. This would constitute a solid foundation for the objective of strengthening innovation relating to environmental technology in Danish enterprises.
2.1.3 The action we will take
Initially, the government has taken the initiative to establish five partnerships for innovation within the areas of water, industrial biotechnology, mega wind turbines, biofuels and hydrogen/fuel cells.
The partnerships include research institutions, enterprises, the state and consumers. The partnerships must be a strategic alliance between developers, practitioners, consumers and the authorities with complete or partial responsibility for the framework conditions that have significance for business development in the area in question (see the status of the individual partnerships below).
Based on experience from these five partnerships, the government will regularly evaluate the possibility of starting up more partnerships. Initiatives have already been taken, for example, to establish a sixth partnership for innovation for environmentally friendly wood burning. This partnership aims at minimising the release of harmful particles from wood-burning stoves and boilers; the cause of approx. half of Denmark’s overall particle emissions.
Enterprises and knowledge-based institutions combined are the primary driving force
The authorities will contribute with:
The water partnership was established in the autumn of 2006 with a wide circle of manufacturers, civil engineering contractors, consultants, consumers and authorities, who throughout a very active introductory phase identified three thematic tracks for future work based on a combination of Danish competences, current environmental challenges and market potential. The three preliminary areas of focus are integrated solutions for water in cities, aquaculture and recreational waters. An analysis of the Danish competence profile in these areas has been completed and this will be used to further direct the work and to evaluate the need for perhaps engaging foreign partners. The partnership is now entering a new and binding phase, where business plans within the individual tracks must be prepared. The Ministry of the Environment is participating in the partnership, which consists of 24 enterprises, knowledge-based institutions and consumers.
Partnership for industrial biotechnology
The partnership for industrial biotechnology is currently being established. A decision has been made to concentrate efforts on new eco-efficient technologies to solve growing global environmental problems arising from ever more specialised livestock production. Thus, the partnership has been given the name “Partnership for environmentally friendly livestock”, where the focus will be on slurry management in combination with bio-technological solutions.
In the first phase of the work, a combination of industrial biotechnology and a further development of mechanical technologies will be examined that can lead to new technological solutions that reduce the environmental impact from livestock production and that have interesting business potential. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment are participating in the partnership together with, currently, seven enterprises and knowledge-based institutions.
Partnership for mega wind turbines
The objectives of the partnership for mega wind turbines include, for example, the development of a new joint strategy for research and innovation in the field of wind power. This strategy expands on the shared vision of developing Denmark as a leading centre of competence for wind power. The partnership has a secretariat in the Danish Wind Industry Association and was established in the autumn of 2006. A steering committee has been established that is made up of representatives from the Energy Authority, RISØ, the Technical University of Denmark, Aalborg University, DONG Energy, energinet. dk, Siemens Wind Power A/S and Vestas Wind Systems A/S. The joint strategy for research and innovation has been subject to a consultation round and will be presented to the government. The strategy work will continue in the autumn of 2007 to elaborate the strategy’s most important recommendations. The partnership has been given the name Megavind, and it recommends, for example, a three-stage strategy for the testing and demonstration of new technology. In close interaction with the newest research, Megavind would like to focus attention on the components, turbines and energy system. Focusing on these three elements opens up for more systematic efforts to strengthen the development of new technology.
Partnership for biofuels
The ambition of the partnership for biofuels is to gather a number of central players to create close interaction on the effort to develop and commercialise technologies. One element is that the partnership must create a basis for establishing a demonstration facility for the production of second generation biofuels.
The opportunities and perspectives of a partnership to promote second generation technologies for the production of biofuels are being discussed, initially by Dong Energy, Novozymes and Statoil. One central aim for a potential partnership is to realise a large-scale demonstration facility based on second generation technology. The Ministry of Transport and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment are participating in the exploratory talks concerning potential partners with regard to carrying out the government’s policy of using biofuels and with regard to physical planning and environment protection in Denmark. The Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority (FORA) are assisting in the partnership by helping promote the clarification of the possibilities in this or other partnerships in the biofuel field.
Partnership for hydrogen/fuel cells
The partnership for hydrogen/fuel cells had been operating for some time before the report on promoting eco-efficient technology was launched in May 2006. The partnership has been expanded and organised as described in the national hydrogen strategy, “Hydrogen technologies: Strategy for research, development and demonstration in Denmark, June 2005”.
The partnership involves enterprises with many different specialties and development traditions, large and small enterprises, a strong research and development environment, funding sources, educational systems and the national and international community in general as well as the political players herein. A board of directors has now been established for the partnership as well as a number of strategy groups that will monitor and provide advice on energy-related technological development.
Among the areas of focus for the partnership are, for example, fuel cells for combined heat and power, the integration of renewable energy, and fuel cells used in transport.
The Danish Energy Industries Federation functions as the secretariat for the partnership. A website for the partnership has been set up and this is a meeting place for the different players within the field.
Follow the partnership’s work at www.ecoinnovation.dk.
At present, the following milestones exist for efforts:
2008 – 2009
In 2008, the establishment of an innovation partnership is expected for environmentally friendly wood burning. Other partnerships will be established as the need arises.
2.2 Targeted and enhanced export promotion
Intelligent Danish eco-efficient technological solutions must be sold on export markets. For the sake of the environment; and for the sake of businesses. There is great potential in countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and the US. A special effort must be made to promote Danish environmental efforts in these areas.
2.2.1 Current perspectives
Eco-efficient technologies are a growth area where, from a global perspective, Danish enterprises have good conditions for winning new market shares.
Approximately 8 per cent of overall Danish exports is made up of environmental and energy technology related products and consulting. In 2005, Denmark exported equipment and consulting in the environmental and energy fields for a value of at least DKK 45 bn. Of this, the wind turbine sector’s share was over DKK 22 bn. The wind turbine sector is growing and exporting enterprises in particular estimate that the export potential is rising.
Up to now, Danish environmental enterprises have been most successful in nearby Nordic and EU markets. In the future, however, it is expected that there will be a great potential for Danish environmental enterprises in a number of new high-growth countries like China, India, Brazil and Russia. Here, there is a growing recognition that growth without improved environmental protection is not viable. Economic growth also provides financial latitude for larger investments in environmental protection. Finally, these countries have increased their focus on optimising their use of resources such as energy and water. In addition to environmental improvements, better resource efficiency creates increased security of supply and less economic waste.
For leading Danish environmental enterprises, the export market is a decisive prerequisite for being able to develop new eco-efficient and resource efficient technological solutions. The significance of domestic markets in today’s globalised and specialised society is declining. For example, up to 99 per cent of all Danish wind turbine production is exported. Without export markets, it would not have been possible for enterprises to develop and produce the high-technology wind turbines of today.
2.2.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like both to use an offensive strategy for exports and to take advantage of globalisation’s new opportunities as a significant part of the overall effort to promote eco-efficient technology in Denmark.
The effort must result in:
In order to achieve this, there is a need for more knowledge about the demand for environmental solutions on export markets and a need for more knowledge about the processes that drive demand for eco-efficient technology, including the future environmental challenges and the development of environmental regulations in different countries as well as the need to build up mutual confidence and collaboration with the relevant players and decision makers in export countries.
Denmark also has good experience with creating the political framework for technological development in the environmental field, just as Denmark plays an important role on the global political scene within a number of areas that have great significance for the development of eco-efficient technologies, for example, regarding the climate. The government would like to strengthen the synergy between policy formulation on the national and international scene and the strongholds and export experience of enterprises.
2.2.3 The action we will take
The government will make a special effort to promote Danish environmental exports in a number of countries which are deemed essential for Danish environmental enterprises to continue developing and strengthening their position in a situation where globalisation leads to increased competition. The countries the government will focus on are:
The government will also concentrate its efforts on technologies where Danish enterprises are considered to have good opportunities for increasing their exports because Denmark already has clear strongholds and many small and large enterprises:
Denmark’s success with the combination of continued economic growth and prosperity with significant environmental improvements could become a good sales pitch for marketing by Danish enterprises in large growth markets. It is important that specific technological solutions are presented in a context (integration with existing technological systems, legislation, regulation, etc) that documents their effectiveness and that can provide a cost-effective contribution to the overall environmental effort. In this regard, local, regional and showcase examples can play an important role in demonstrating technologies in practice.
In close dialogue with enterprises, the government will regularly evaluate how the authorities can best support Danish export enterprises. Initially, the following activities will be launched:
The aim is, for example, to ensure that all relevant export offensives include the marketing of eco-efficient technologies that are closely associated with the effort to promote technological innovation in Denmark, international negotiation processes and contacts in the environmental and energy areas. The aim is also to accommodate enterprises’ desire for better advice concerning eco-efficient technological opportunities and environmental policy development in the most important export markets.
To assist small and medium-sized enterprises the aim is to offer free customised consultancy and sparring from an experienced export preparation consultant with trade knowledge about energy and the environment who can help enterprises commence international activities by preparing an action plan for internationalisation.
International collaboration on research can also contribute to developing innovative eco-efficient technology.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation jointly have set into motion a number of activities to promote Danish participation in international research collaboration, for example, in California, which is a leading location for research and innovation within eco-efficient technology.
In order to make the government’s efforts as effective as possible, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment entered in April 2006 into the agreement “Export promotion of efficient energy and environmental technologies”.
The agreement states that responsibility for the activities is divided as follows:
Updated timetables and amended activities catalogues are available at www.ecoinnovation.dk.
Research and technological development in the environment are vital if Danish enterprises are to lead the development and sales of new competitive eco-efficient technologies. Better conditions need to be created for research and research-based collaboration between enterprises and research institutions in Denmark and internationally.
2.3.1 Current perspectives
The world is full of examples of how targeted research has led to the development of new technologies that reduce environmental impacts. From more energy-efficient ship engines to chemicals less harmful to the health.
In a number of areas, new technologies are on their way to considerably changing priority environmental problems.
A few examples: Nanotechnology is used to design new and efficient catalytic converters for cleaning exhaust gases; biotechnology is used to produce feed enzymes that reduce the environmental impact of animal manure; advanced IT solutions are being used to optimize the operation of mega wind turbines; and the biological production and use of renewable resources contain great potential for more environmentally friendly production methods – plants, for example, can be used to produce high-tech products such as medicines and bioplastic.
The need for new technological breakthroughs is high. We continue to face great environmental challenges that are very difficult and costly to solve with the technologies available today. Here, there is a need for research that can create the necessary technological breakthroughs.
Danish enterprises which have specialised in developing and producing eco-efficient technology regularly have a need to collaborate with Danish research institutions on the development of next generation eco-efficient technologies.
Strategic research programmes combined with funding offered under the auspices of the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation can create a good framework for this. Furthermore, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Danish Council for Strategic Research focus on international research collaboration as a means of supporting the development of innovative environmental technology.
Finally, a Danish dedicated effort regarding eco-efficient technology can be a part of the overall Danish effort to strengthen research within the natural sciences and technical sciences because eco-efficient technology involves challenges perceived by students and researchers as exciting and meaningful.
2.3.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like to prepare Denmark as well as possible for the challenges of globalisation. If Denmark is to be able to compete with new low-wage economies like China and India, then investing in products and services containing a high level of knowledge is necessary. Enterprises must also regularly be able to renew their products so that they continue to be a more attractive choice than cheaper alternatives.
In addition, it is the government’s goal to create a framework that allows Denmark to become one of the world’s best at innovation and research. Danish universities must be able to measure themselves against the best in the world and Danish enterprises must be urged to invest more in research and development. The government would especially like to see Denmark become stronger in the natural sciences and the field of technology and science.
These messages come through clearly in the government’s globalisation strategy, “Progress, renewal and security”, which was published in April 2006.
Eco-efficient technology is an area in which the government would like to promote research and development in order to prepare Denmark for the challenges of globalisation. The government’s goal is: That Denmark, Danish enterprises and Danish research institutes must lead the way when it comes to creating solutions for the world’s global environmental challenges.
Danish environmental enterprises invest a great deal of money in research and development. However, the financial effort and collaboration between enterprises and universities must be intensified if Danish enterprises are to be first with competitive solutions.
The government would like to strengthen research in order to further develop Denmark’s leading position in a number of eco-efficient technologies that in the future are expected to require advanced technological solutions. A stronger Danish research effort must contribute to strengthening Denmark’s brand as a nation where modern technological development goes hand in hand with efforts for a better environment.
2.3.3 The action we will take
Entering into a welfare settlement created the financial latitude needed to increase public investment in research and development so it will comprise one percent of GNP by 2010, which represents a boost from more than DKK 12 bn. to almost DKK 18 bn. in 2010.
Entering into an agreement about the globalisation pool set in motion the allocation of this funding. Funding was earmarked, for example, for strategic research in eco-efficient technology, just as funding was set aside for the testing and demonstration of new energy technologies that, aside from contributing to security of supply and the ability to compete, will also contribute to creating a better technological basis for efforts against human-induced climate changes.
The government has simultaneously launched a number of initiatives designed to create better framework conditions for enterprises to invest in research and development. Enterprises already currently form the nucleus for the application-oriented R & D effort
The research effort made by enterprises, however, can be strengthened by good collaboration with universities on R & D projects because the enterprises’ eco-efficient solutions are often based on the application of new technological discoveries created and tested at universities.
Meanwhile, university researchers, approved technological service institutes (GTS institutes) and other public research institutions also have responsibility for incorporating new discoveries in the design of the eco-efficient technology of the future. With respect to eco-efficient technology, the government will also increase its efforts to give enterprises greater incentives to invest in R & D while providing a better knowledge base for focusing on and targeting their development efforts. In keeping with this objective, for example, increased funding will be set aside to support company testing and demonstration of new eco-efficient technologies in a number of areas of application, including energy, agriculture, protection of the aquatic environment and combating air pollution. These schemes are described in more detail in sections 2.6-2.9.
The environment authorities will regularly prepare analyses and evaluations of the need for new and more effective eco-efficient technological solutions. The environment authorities will also continuously work to prevent environmental regulations from becoming unnecessary obstacles to experiments by researchers on new solutions.
In order to support high-quality research, technological development, and collaboration between knowledge-based institutions and enterprises, the government will increase public investment in research and eco-efficient technological solutions. This will partly be within the framework of existing research programmes, such as the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation and partly from unassigned research funding and by setting aside funding aimed specifically at strategic research.
Responsibility for distributing the funding, co-ordination and continued work to strengthen research and technology development on the environment is divided as follows:
The timetable for tendering for the test and demonstration funding for energy, agriculture, water and the environment and health is in sections 2.6-2.9.
2.4 Consultancy, information and knowledge building
It is a big challenge for many enterprises to target their technological development and to evaluate whether their new ideas are viable. Many enterprises could also be better at taking advantage of research and development programmes. Thus, the Ministry of the Environment is establishing a secretariat designed to support enterprises and entrepreneurs in building a better basis for developing and marketing eco-efficient technology.
2.4.1 Current perspectives
Many Danish enterprises, entrepreneurs, researchers, etc are innovative and have good, close contact with those who use their products.
With support from the authorities they can become even better at judging the environmental and marketing value of new ideas and at finding funding in the right places for the development of their ideas.
Better knowledge gives enterprises and entrepreneurs a better basis for making decisions and thus better opportunities for utilising the commercial potentials provided by the growing global market for eco-efficient technology.
Through better access to information and consultancy, especially inventors, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises will have better opportunities to assess their ideas, just as they will have better opportunities for participating in research and development programmes in Denmark and internationally. It is often new players on the market that create the new solutions of the future.
2.4.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like to strengthen the consultancy available to Danish enterprises, entrepreneurs, researchers, etc, in relation to eco-efficient technology, so that enterprises become better at targeting the development of new technologies.
It must be easy for enterprises to obtain information about:
2.4.3 The action we will take
The Ministry of the Environment will establish a secretariat to handle tasks dealing with information, dialogue and creating networks on eco-efficient technology. To provide the best possible consultancy, the effort will be coordinated with relevant institutions, including especially regional incubators that function as a one-stop access to all consultancy activities for new and small enterprises with growth ambitions. This will be established through an ambassador scheme in the regional incubators for the secretariat.
The secretariat will assist in evaluating the environmental relevance of new development projects with information about opportunities for marketing eco-efficient technologies as well as the opportunities available for obtaining support for projects, etc. Thus, the secretariat will:
In order to give advice about future regulation, the secretariat will carry out an analysis of future environment regulation in Denmark and the EU. The analysis will also identify areas in which Denmark should work to incorporate effective incentives for using and developing eco-efficient technologies.
Knowledge building by the secretariat will be in dialogue with users, established partnerships (see section 2.1), knowledge-based institutions, specialist groups, regions and municipalities as well as with the other ministries, etc.
The secretariat will also carry out a number of coordination tasks in relation to the other initiatives in the action plan, including contributing to the effort to promote exports and partnerships; continuing completed surveys of Danish strongholds within eco-efficient technology; providing input for research priorities; and establishing a testing and demonstration programme for technologies in the areas of the aquatic environment and noise and air pollution.
The secretariat will also help ensure that the funding set aside for the testing and demonstration of eco-efficient technology in Denmark and the EU supports efficient implementation of environmental legislation. The secretariat will regularly provide information on the implementation of initiatives from the action plan on its website www.ecoinnovation.dk.
To promote the development of energy technology, the government will establish an Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP), see section 2.6. In addition to providing grants, EUDP will actively promote public-private collaboration, including the formation of project consortia that can carry out more extensive projects. EUDP will also promote opportunities for Danish enterprises to receive a portion of the funding available, including, for example, in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.
Access to financing plays an important role in strengthening growth conditions for entrepreneurial enterprises in the environmental field. The Business Finance Development Corporation has carried out a number of analyses on venture capital perspectives in so-called clean tech in Denmark. The Corporation has also invested in a venture company with focus on the area, BankInvest New Energy Solutions, as well as directly in enterprises in the field. In future years, the Business Finance Development Corporation will contribute to expanding the Danish market for venture capital for clean tech, including investing in promising enterprises within clean tech. In order to encourage more entrepreneurialism, the Business Finance Development Corporation has also launched a clean tech prize of half a million Danish kroner, which will be awarded in November 2007 to the company that has the most promising business plan within clean tech.
The secretariat will:
Each year, the secretariat will prepare a work programme that will be available at www.ecoinnovation.dk
2.5 Targeted promotion of eco-efficient technology in the EU
There are good opportunities to promote the supply and demand of eco-efficient technology through EU cooperation. Danish enterprises and research institutes can receive funding for the development of eco-efficient technology from the EU’s research, technology and innovation programmes and the demand for new environmental technology is to a large degree determined by common environmental regulation in the EU member states.
2.5.1 Current perspectives
With the Lisbon Strategy, the EU heads of state and government set the goal that the EU must be the most dynamic and competitive knowledge economy by 2010. The aim is to increase economic growth and reduce unemployment. One of the means to promote this goal is to increase investments in R & D, an area where the EU lags behind countries such as the US and Japan. The goal is for EU member states to spend at least 3 per cent of their GNP on R & D up to and including 2010.
Economic growth must continue while simultaneously showing consideration for the environment. According to the Lisbon Strategy, this will be ensured, for example, by promoting eco-efficient technology for the benefit of both the environment and the economy.
Based on this, in 2004, the European Commission launched an action plan for environmental technology (ETAP). ETAP has been designed to strengthen, prioritise, coordinate and evaluate efforts for environmental technology in the EU, while also creating synergy between efforts by the EU and member states.
Eco-efficient technology must be one of the areas under special consideration as more funding is set aside for research and development both in the EU budget and the individual budgets of member states.
The significance of the EU’s environmental policy stretches far beyond the EU’s borders. The EU is an important player in the world economy and the EU has chosen to put itself at the forefront for solutions to a number of global environmental challenges, for example, climate change and the spread of chemicals harmful to the environment and the health.
The EU is a key player on the global market for eco-efficient technology and the EU’s efforts regarding eco-efficient technology are globally oriented.
2.5.2 What we would like to achieve
The government will promote Danish views on the prioritisation of eco-efficient technology in EU environmental and innovation policy. In this regard, the government will ensure that Denmark and Danish enterprises benefit as much as possible from EU cooperation in this area.
The government will work toward:
2.5.3 The action we will take
The EU 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development.
Programme for sustainable production
In the first six months of 2007, the consortium must decide how future collaboration is to continue. It would be natural to look into the possibility of internationalising Danish partnership activities through this collaboration, and it should be examined whether Danish research funding for eco-efficient technology in the Danish Council for Strategic Research could be incorporated in the project.
The EU’s framework programme for competitiveness and innovation
The Commission has earmarked a portion of the CIP budget for environmental innovation.
The European Regional Fund and the European Social Fund
Similarly, Danish participation in cross-boarder environmental projects can be applied for from programmes for European territorial collaboration. From 2007-2013 the EU will make available an annual DKK 104 mill. for Danish participation in this type of project. The administrative/supervision committees for each programme determine how the funding will be applied.
EU environmental regulation
EU action plan for environmental technology
The Commission’s website on ETAP provides an overview of how the Commission and EU member states follow up the action plan for environmental technology: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/etap/.
Responsibility for representing Danish interests and positions in the EU:
For a number of EU initiatives, planning is dependent of the pace of the political decision-making process in the EU. As a result, it can be necessary to adjust the timetable. The current timetable is:
2.6 Climate and energy technology
Climate change is one of our greatest environmental challenges. It is expected that both large CO2 reductions and adapting to climate change will be necessary. In Denmark and internationally, there is a need for technology that reduces energy consumption and uses new energy sources. The nature of the challenge should be seen in light of the fact that a secure and cost-efficient energy supply has great significance for growth and development in Denmark and globally. The global energy system and transport sector are predominantly based on fossil energy sources. As a result, the government is launching an intensive effort for the research, development and demonstration of climate and energy technologies of the future in order to contribute to increased security of supply, more competitive energy production and a significant reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases.
2.6.1 Current perspectives
Climate change is a global challenge that requires global action and political leadership both nationally and from the international community. In order to live up to the UN’s objective to avoid serious climate change, the EU is working on the basis of the goal that global temperature rises must not exceed 2°C. The EU estimates that this will require the reduction in global emissions by up to 50 per cent by 2050 and that industrialised countries should reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and 60-80 per cent by 2050 compared to emissions in 1990. The EU has decided to take the lead in the international effort to reduce emissions of climate gases. In March 2007, EU heads of state and government approved a number of ambitious climate objectives for 2020, including:
Today, EU member states are obligated to reduce the EU’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent from 2008-2012 in comparison to 1990.
Less pollution from the energy system, the transport sector and agriculture is a critical prerequisite for a better environment. We have come far in Denmark in reducing most types of pollution from energy production, except CO2 emissions because the existing energy system is still primarily based on the utilisation of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.
Internationally and in Denmark, CO2 emissions from fossil energy consumption make up the majority of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency’s ”World Energy Outlook 2006”, the world’s CO2 emissions in 2030 will be 55 per cent higher than they are today if no significant steps are taken to promote more efficient utilisation and production of energy; to switch to CO2-neutral energy sources; and to reduce emissions from the transport sector.
Stable and adequate energy supply is a precondition for development and prosperity. Apart from environmental considerations, security of supply is also an important aspect of the government’s efforts to change energy consumption.
The oil and gas production of EU countries is expected to peak within the next twenty years. In 25 years, Europe is expected to import 94 per cent of its oil needs and 81 per cent of its gas consumption.
Switching to renewable energy sources is thus necessary in the coming years to ensure increased security of supply and a significant reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases. This is widely recognised – also outside of Europe. China, for example, aims to increase renewable energy to 15 per cent of total energy consumption by 2020. The International Energy Agency also expects the global capacity for wind energy to multiply in the period up to 2030. Denmark’s share of the global market for wind energy is currently 35-40 per cent, which means there is significant export potential in the global market for Danish enterprises working with climate and energy technologies.
2.6.2 What we would like to achieve
To reduce global climate change, the government would like Denmark and the EU to continue to play a central role in international climate negotiations. Technology development and the transfer are essential aspects of this effort.
Denmark is currently already a world leader in using energy efficiently and in increasing its use of renewable energy.
Danish exports of energy technology amounted to about DKK 39 bn. in 2005, of which technology related to renewable energy was approx. 70 per cent. The government will work to continue to develop this position, and the government supports the increased focus on energy policy in the EU.
In January 2007, the government presented an ambitious long-term Danish energy strategy with the overall objectives of reducing the utilisation of fossil fuels, increasing the share of renewable energy and boosting energy-saving efforts up to 2025. In this regard, the government has proposed that funding for energy research be increased to DKK 1 bn. annually from 2010.
This energy strategy thus contributes positively to meeting the objectives presented in the government’s climate plan, which will ensure that Denmark lives up to probably the most ambitious reduction commitment in the world, namely 21 per cent by 2012.
In Denmark, as in the rest of the world, there is especially a need for new technologies that can minimise energy consumption and reduce dependence on fossil energy. A number of Danish energy technologies are already among the best in the world. This is the case, for example, for wind power, fuel cells and second-generation biofuels.
In fact, for wind power, many examples exist of foreign enterprises who seek out Denmark to become a part of the Danish knowledge and competence environment, which is of international quality and includes, for instance, well-functioning public-private collaboration. The government will ensure that this strong position is developed and expanded so that Danish enterprises come to play a central role in the global market for climate and energy technologies.
2.6.3 The action we will take
In order to meet Danish energy and climate objectives, the government will intensify its focus on the research and development of climate-friendly technologies. This effort includes, for example, the following:
Foreign climate projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s “Joint Implementation” (JI) and “Clean Development Mechanism” (CDM) are also important elements in the government’s climate policy. Purchasing CO2 credits is mainly a task for private enterprises covered by the rules in the EU’s ETS directive. The government contributes by purchasing climate credits and with a number of other initiatives in order to ‘kick-start’ the market more quickly than otherwise would have been the case. The framework for the national JI and CDM efforts is set out in the new strategy for the area from the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was launched in March 2007. Among the objectives of the strategy is the promotion of transfer of eco-efficient technology to Eastern Europe and developing countries. In this regard, the government will intensify efforts to identify and develop JI and CDM projects matching the Danish technology suppliers’ strongholds. The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also provide advice and arrange contacts for Danish technology suppliers.
Responsibility for implementing the tasks is as follows:
A number of energy and environmentally oriented research funding will also be made available under the auspices of the Danish Council for Strategic Research, as described in section 2.
2.7 Eco-efficient agricultural technologies
In many places in the world the environment is under pressure from ever more intensive farming. This development will continue in step with globalisation and population growth. The challenge is to accommodate the increased demand for food without harming the environment and nature. Thus, there is a growing demand for eco-efficient agricultural technologies. Denmark stands strong in this area. With the government’s multi-year plan for sustainable and environmentally correct livestock production and a report for the Danish Parliament about eco-efficient technologies, the government has decided to target efforts on research, innovation and certification that ensure improved development of eco-efficient agricultural technologies from idea to market for the benefit of the environment, agriculture and exports.
2.7.1 Current perspectives
We are dependent on the food produced by agriculture. Agriculture also plays a central role for the environment and nature in Denmark. Today, 65 per cent of Denmark is covered by agricultural land. For Denmark, a central environmental and business policy challenge is ensuring that growth and the dynamics of agriculture go hand in hand with consideration for the environment and nature. A number of countries are facing the same challenge. With increased global competition and an increasingly greater demand for food products, the market for eco-efficient technologies in agriculture will grow.
Eco-efficient technologies will play a central role in farming in the future in the indus-trialised world. Eco-efficient technologies can contribute to ensuring that modern agriculture can exist together with the surrounding nature and neighbours. Enzymes in feedstuff that limit ammonia evaporation from livestock manure, new technologies for limiting stall odours, new methods for application of livestock manure on farmland and effective technologies for slurry separation are all examples of technologies that are being developed and that will make it possible to decouple the connection between the volume of production and the environmental impact.
In recent decades, farms have changed. Production has become more and more specialised and concentrated in increasingly fewer production units. This creates a better capital and competence base that allows individual farmers to use investments in new environmental technologies to overcome their environmental problems.
From a global perspective, the market for advanced eco-efficient technologies for the agricultural sector is very large and is expected to grow. There is great potential in ensuring that Denmark takes advantage of and strengthens important competence strongholds in this area. This will contribute to ensuring that the agricultural and food products sector continues to be a part of the basis for Danish prosperity and continues to participate actively in working toward developing new technologies.
Technology development also means that the role of agriculture will be redefined. Agriculture will develop from solely supplying food products to also supplying, for example, raw materials for energy production and new materials. Biomass, bioethanol and biodiesel are known examples of energy sources. The development of new slurry management technologies has the potential for both improved fertilisers and for energy production. Biotechnology has great potential in such diverse new areas as medicine, packaging, buildings and biopesticides.
2.7.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like to create a coherent effort, from idea to market, within the entire development chain for eco-efficient agricultural technologies. The aim is that through a focused and joint effort that promotes eco-efficient technological solutions in agriculture, we can contribute to meeting a number of environment policy objectives while simultaneously strengthening the competitiveness and export opportunities of agriculture and associated sectors on the global market.
The government believes incentives must exist to invest in eco-efficient technologies in agriculture’s primary production. With new legislation on the environmental approval of livestock farms, Denmark has taken an important step to ensure that in the future farming will have less environmental impact. The new environmental approval means that expanding or establishing new livestock farms alone cannot be the reason for significantly impacting neighbours and the environment with odours or nutrients. The legislation’s tough new environmental requirements provide an incentive to introduce new technological solutions in an area where both Danish industry and research have throughout the years built up extensive competences. The government would also like to remove barriers to applying eco-efficient technologies in farming and to examine the possibility of introducing incentives to invest in the development, documentation and demonstration of eco-efficient technologies.
2.7.3 The action we will take
With the government’s “Multi-year plan for sustainable and environmentally correct livestock production” and with a report for the Danish Parliament on eco-efficient technology, the government has launched a three-year package in collaboration with the industry to promote eco-efficient technology in the agricultural sector. The initiatives in the package are in the following areas:
Development and demonstration of technologies
Certification and standardisation
Implementation of initiatives in the three-year package will be co-ordinated in a contact forum established with participation from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Environmental Protection Agency and Danish Agriculture.
In connection with this package of initiatives, the partnership on industrial biotechnology focuses on the development of technological concepts that, for example, with the help of biotechnology projects, can remedy environmental problems stemming from handling livestock manure.
Responsibility for implementing of these tasks is as follows:
2.8 A clean and unspoiled aquatic environment
Water is a life-giving resource. We use water in incredibly many situations – as drinking water, bathing water, process water, hot water for domestic use, hydropower, aqua-culture water and more. The way we use water has a direct impact on the quality of the water and the amount of water available, just as it can indirectly influence both the surrounding nature and human health. Eco-efficient technology is an indispensable tool for ensuring clean water, creating a better aquatic environment and decoupling economic growth from further impacts on the aquatic environment.
2.8.1 Current perspectives
Water is a common central environmental policy topic. The nutrients and hazardous substances from pesticides and other chemicals from agriculture, cities, industry and scattered buildings in rural areas end in the aquatic environment, which is also subject to a number of physical influences such as straightening watercourses and laying pipes, just as water abstraction alone can effect the quality of the water and the entire water cycle with the subsequent consequences for the surrounding nature.
In Denmark, we make an effort to protect the groundwater so that we can continue to have clean, untreated water directly from the tap – out of consideration for the public and for the many enterprises that are dependent on access to ample amounts of clean water. Water is an essential element in nature and in many leisure activities. Globally, a lack of water is a growing problem. Today, it is technically possible to clean and desali-nate water for all uses, including for drinking water. It is, however, still much more costly and energy-consuming compared to having access to unpolluted freshwater resources.
The UN estimates that over 1.1 billion people live without access to clean drinking water and that 2.6 billion people live without access to proper sanitary conditions. The WHO estimates that 3,900 children die every day due to waterborne disease. Danish environmental technology can contribute to correcting this situation.
Water is a multi-million-dollar Danish industry. Globally, the water sector is expanding rapidly. In the US alone, the market potential for investments in drinking water and waste water over the next twenty years is USD 1,000 billion. Based on figures from Statistics Denmark, the Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority (FORA) estimates that in 2003 Danish enterprises dealing with water had a turnover of DKK 16 bn. of which DKK 7 bn. came from exports. From 1998-2002 exports doubled.
In the future, the market is expected to grow explosively, especially for supply optimisation and for efficient treatment and recycling technology. The Danish Board of Technology estimates that global investments in the water sector are expected to be DKK 1,140 bn. by 2025. Denmark has some of the best conditions in the world to supply knowledge and resources for future water solutions.
2.8.2 What we would like to achieve
Denmark is one of the world’s leading nations in a number of central areas, for example, in water treatment, systems for management, the regulation and monitoring of water resources and qualities, environmentally correct sewerage, water-saving sanitary appliances, fish farming technologies, non-toxic control technologies and technologies for,
The government will ensure that world-class Danish solutions continue to be developed in these areas for the benefit of the global environment and to solve domestic problems. With regard to fish farming, an important prerequisite for meeting the tighter discharge requirements for medicine and additive substances, for example, is that the newest recirculation technology undergoes final testing and demonstration.
Earlier this year, a broad political agreement was entered into for a more efficient water sector. Effectivisation of the sector must be used to benefit consumers and the environment. In combination with the environmental technology action plan, the agreement will contribute to a more innovative water sector while simultaneously strengthening Danish exports of eco-efficient water technology.
The Danish effort to promote environmental technology for the protection of the aquatic environment must also ensure the efficient implementation of EU legislation on water, including especially the Water Framework Directive. Denmark must also become better at taking advantage of the commercial potential of its strongholds.
From a global perspective, the effort must contribute to the UN’s goal of halving the number of people in the world who do not have access to clean drinking water and sanitary conditions before 2015.
The water partnership is a commercial innovation platform that gathers Danish enterprises, knowledge-based institutions, organisations and public authorities with cutting-edge competence in water supply, including security of supply, treatment and recycling water. The overall objectives of the water partnership are:
2.8.3 The action we will take
The government has already taken the initiative to set up a partnership for innovation in the water area: the water partnership - a new Danish multi-million-dollar industry. With financial support from the Ministry of the Environment, a secretariat has been established comprised of the think tank Huset Mandag Morgen AS, the Confederation of Danish Industries and the Danish Hydraulics Institute (DHI). The partnership operates in close co-operation with the Danish Water Forum and the Water Research Platform. The Ministry of the Environment participates in the partnership and will contribute with knowledge and analyses in relation to national and international regulations, important environmental challenges that require technological development etc. Within, or as a supplement to the activities in the water partnership, the government will take the following initiatives:
The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for implementing the above activities. The Danish Council for Strategic
Research will conduct a tendering procedure for the research funding in the area.
Developments can be followed at www.ecoinnovation.dk.
2.9 A healthy environment
The environment influences our health. Air pollution, dangerous chemicals and noise are all examples of environmental factors that harm our health. These are also areas in which eco-efficient technology can help reduce impacts on the environment and our health. Danish efforts to develop technologies that reduce the environment’s negative health effects must be targeted and intensified.
2.9.1 Current perspectives
In recent years, there has been strong national and international focus on the connection between the environment and health. Within areas such as air and noise pollution and chemicals, the modern way of living, producing and consuming has consequences for the environment that affect health.
Despite significant improvements, air pollution still has serious effects in the western world, where, for example, it increases the incidence of asthma, lung cancer and circulatory diseases. The European Commission has estimated that the number of early deaths in the EU resulting from particle pollution is over 300,000 annually. In many large cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America, air pollution from industry, energy and transport is far more extensive than in the EU. The possibilities of limiting air pollution are largely dependent on getting new technological solutions on the market; which is also pointed out by the Commission’s Thematic Strategy on air pollution.
Many people, who live in cities and along national or regional roads, are bothered every day by noise. In Denmark, approx. 700,000 homes are burdened by road noise that exceeds the exposure level for new homes, and investments are being made regularly
A number of chemicals used today increase the risk of cancer, reduced fertility, over sensitiveness and allergies. The EU’s new chemical regulation (REACH) will ensure much greater knowledge about chemicals and provide increased incentives to develop and apply substances that are less harmful to the environment and to health. This is an area where the future global market is expected to be enormous and where there will continue to be huge challenges in the form of finding useful non-harmful alternatives for a number of substances and applications.
Air pollution, noise and chemicals are just three examples of how the connection between environmental factors and human health are already in focus in national and international environmental policy. This is why these areas will also continue to be emphasised. In the future, enterprises that develop and sell technologies that aid in reducing or removing the environment’s negative health effects will have access to a large growth market.
2.9.2 What we would like to achieve
The government would like to promote eco-efficient technologies that contribute to reducing air and noise pollution and the use of chemicals dangerous to the environment and to health. Danish enterprises within these areas will aid in improving health while also taking advantage of the commercial potential in the growing global demand for these technologies.
In 2003, the government presented a strategy called “The environment and health go together” with a ten-point plan for the environment and health. The strategy has been followed up by a number of initiatives that focus especially on chemicals, water, noise and air pollution and on strengthening international collaboration.
2.9.3 The action we will take
The government will launch initiatives that will promote the development of eco-efficient technologies for air, noise and chemical pollution:
The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for implementing the above activities.
Developments in the timetable can be followed at www.ecoinnovation.dk.