chapter  4
22 Pages

Energy crises, supply security, and energy planning

WithMogens Rüdiger

Despite the growing concern about resources and environmental problems before and after the key Stockholm conference on the environment in 1972, the oil crises in 1973–1974 came as a chock to Danish society, which had become almost totally dependent on oil from the Mid-East. The immediate consequence was a quadrupling of the oil prices that aggravated the incipient economic crisis. The direct response was focused on energy savings, including ban on car driving on Sundays, and plans for building up oil reserves. On longer terms energy savings laws and campaigns turned out to slow down the previous period’s extreme growth in energy consumption. The next step was the development of a coherent energy policy and planning with the development of a diversified energy as the core element. Up to a point, oil was replaced by coal as the preferred fuel in power generation, natural gas was introduced, and nuclear power was considered to be another new tier in the diversified planning. However, a strong popular movement against nuclear power pressed the government to drop the plans. The second oil crisis in 1979, triggered by the Iranian revolution, gave a new impetus to energy saving as well as to new efforts to improving supply security, including the construction of the natural gas grid and a redesign of the production in the North Sea.