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America has an addiction. Denmark's alternative energy producers may have the cure

The excitement amongst Danish alternative energy producers was tangible late Wednesday night as US president uttered the words 'America is addicted to oil' and that something must be done about it.

During his State of the Union Speech, President Bush announced that the US needed to cut its reliance on foreign oil. To achieve that, he was launching the Advanced Energy Initiative - a project aimed at reducing the country's dependence on oil 75 percent by 2025.

The initiative is no small deal. The US has already has spent USD 10b (EUR 8b) since 2001 to reduce its energy dependence, and experts predict that far more will be needed to meet the goal. The initiative itself will increase research by 22 percent.

A key element of the reducing energy dependency will be a shift to renewable energy technology, and here Danish alternative energy producers already have a leg up on their competition.

Lively industry

The country's alternative energy producers have decades' worth of experience providing not only Denmark but also other countries with power from renewable energy sources.

The wind industry is already an established one in Denmark. As much as 10 percent of the country's energy supplies come from wind power.

And visiting Denmark without seeing a wind turbine is impossible - from the airport in Copenhagen to the giant windparks on the west coast and at all points in between,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
During his State of the Union Speech, President Bush announced that the US needed to cut its reliance on foreign oil. To achieve that, he was launching the Advanced Energy Initiative - a project aimed at reducing the country's dependence on oil 75 percent by 2025.

The initiative is no small deal. The US has already has spent USD 10b (EUR 8b) since 2001 to reduce its energy dependence, and experts predict that far more will be needed to meet the goal. The initiative itself will increase research by 22 percent.

A key element of the reducing energy dependency will be a shift to renewable energy technology, and here Danish alternative energy producers already have a leg up on their competition.

Lively industry

The country's alternative energy producers have decades' worth of experience providing not only Denmark but also other countries with power from renewable energy sources.

The wind industry is already an established one in Denmark. As much as 10 percent of the country's energy supplies come from wind power.

And visiting Denmark without seeing a wind turbine is impossible - from the airport in Copenhagen to the giant windparks on the west coast and at all points in between, wind turbines are a fixture of the landscape.

In addition, a lively underbrush of innovative firms are putting the final touches on affordable renewable energy technologies such as wave power, fuel and solar cells, and biomass energy.

While Vestas, the world's largest producer of wind turbines, is world renown as a major exporter of wind technology, the country already exports ethanol both north and south of the border to the German and Swedish markets.

The big break

Even before President Bush made his speech, Danish energy officials had called upon their colleagues in Washington to give them insight into the country's renewable energy know-how.

'We were in Washington last week to present what we've achieved in Denmark in energy efficiency and improved technologies for both conventional and renewable energy sources,' said Hans Jørgen Koch, international director of the Danish Energy Agency.

Koch said that US officials were aware of Denmark's contribution to the field and that they were interested in seeing how its research could be applied to the country's energy network.

One such company that could benefit from the initiative is ethanol producer Bioscan. Though the company already has activities in the US, it was surprised by President Bush's declaration.

'This could be the big breakthrough for alternative energy sources in North America,' said Otto Eliassen, president of Bioscan.

Bioscan is in the midst of a project that it expects will allow today's automobiles to use up to 15 percent ethanol as fuel.

'The message from Bush will no doubt put wind in our sails,' he said.
Wind and grain

One company that already has wind in its sales in the US is Vestas. The US market is already its largest, and the news from Washington has market watchers expecting that growth there will continue.

'The potential for wind exploitation in the US is enormous,' said Henrik Breum of Danske Equtities to daily newspaper Politiken. 'The US Midwest is to wind what Saudi Arabia is to oil. There is lots of wind and lots of places to put up windmills.'

Although president Bush's initiative is a long-term programme, investors in Denmark began rewarding several of the leaders in the industry almost immediately.

In the days following the speech, industrial biotech companies Novozymes and Genecor both registered solid gains on the stock market.

The two companies produce the enzymes that are necessary to convert biomass such as straw into grain into the sugars required to produce ethanol.

Especially Novozymes has been active in the race to develop inexpensive biomass fuels. In 2005, the company developed a process that reduced the cost to produce ethanol 30 fold - dropping the price per litre from just over USD 1 (EUR 0.85) to under USD 0.05 (EUR 0.04).

Despite the potential, executives and analysts were cautiously optimistic about the future of ethanol in the US.

'Enzymes are just one of several pieces of the production process,' said Genecor vice president Jack Huttner to financial daily Børsen 'But we're still talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.'

Source: http://denmark.dk/portal/pa...

FEB 3 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1178-america-has-an-addiction-denmark-s-alternative-energy-producers-may-have-the-cure
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