The Danish pensions and insurance lobby group said the country urgently needs to formulate an energy independence plan, and is making 11 concrete proposals to accelerate the green energy transition and achieve energy independence from Russia – saying its members are a vital part of the solution.

Kent Damsgaard, chief executive officer of Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD), said in yesterday’s announcement from the association: “Even before the war in Ukraine, we were faced with an urgent task in the green transition.

“With the clear and important decision that Denmark must free itself from Russian oil and gas, it is now time for us to start with the major projects such as the energy island in the North Sea,” he said.

As part of the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of last month, Denmark’s main political parties agreed on 6 March that the Nordic country should become independent of Russian gas as soon as possible.

Denmark’s biggest pension funds including ATP, PFA and PensionDanmark are involved in rival consortia planning to bid for the Danish North Sea energy island – a project to build a mid-sea physical base for large-scale wind power.

The first of IPD’s proposals is that Denmark put together an “Energy Independence Plan”, which specifically includes a climate investment plan, and where several of the large green investments planned are expected to be brought forward in the work for energy independence.

The association also proposes that the establishment of the energy island starts now and its framework be expanded.

Biogas should be promoted, according to the proposals, government and authorities should create a pipeline of specific renewable energy projects, and a concrete plan drawn up for which projects can be brought forward and initiated right now.

Among its other proposals, IPD said more green government bonds should be issued.

The Danish central bank issued the country’s first sovereign green bond in January, raising DKK5bn. IPD noted that a total of DKK23bn had been bid for the notes, with Danish pension companies having participated with bids.

“Denmark must have an ‘Energy Independence Plan’, and it is urgent,” Damsgaard said.

“The insurance and pension industry is an indispensable part of the solution, because we can and will to a large extent help to secure the financing that is needed,” he said.

However, the sector could not invest in political declarations of intent, he said, adding that there was a need for concrete projects.

Earlier this week, IPD welcomed a package of green energy infrastructure measures agreed by government and other parliamentary parties, focusing on the development of power-to-x (PtX) technology, which enables the storage of surplus electricity. But the association also said more was needed.

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