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No. 194: Projection of greenhouse gases 2014-2025

Nielsen, O.-K., Plejdrup, M.S., Winther, M., Hjelgaard, K., Nielsen, M., Fauser, P., Mikkelsen, M.H., Albrektsen, R., Gyldenkærne, S. & Thomsen M. 2016. Projection of greenhouse gases 2014-2025. Aarhus University, DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy, 127 pp. Scientific Report from DCE – Danish Centre for Environment and Energy No. 194 http://dce2.au.dk/pub/SR194.pdf



This report contains a description of the models, background data and projections of the greenhouse gases (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) for Denmark. At the time of making this projection, some sectors had the latest historic year of 2014, while other sectors had 2013 as the latest historic year. This is reflected in the projection. Whenever possible the latest available historic year was used as a basis for the projection. The emissions are projected to 2025 using a scenario, which includes the estimated effects of policies and measures implemented by November 2015 on Denmark’s GHG emissions (‘with existing measures’ projections). The official Danish forecasts, e.g. the latest official forecast from the Danish Energy Agency (DEA), are used to provide activity rates (2014-2025) in the models for those sectors for which these forecasts are available. For other sectors than fuel combustion, emissions have also been projected for 2030. The emission factors refer to international guidelines or are country-specific and refer to Danish legislation, Danish research reports or calculations based on emission data from a considerable number of industrial plants in Denmark. The projection models are generally based on the same structure and methodology as the Danish emission inventories in order to ensure consistency. Emissions are shown both as actual emissions and corrected for electricity trade.

The emission corrected for electricity trade, follows the general trend in emissions. For the first years of the time series the actual emission is lower than the corrected emission, i.e. there is an import of electricity. Around 2020 the import/export is close to zero, where after there is an electricity export and hence the actual emissions become larger than the corrected.

The main emitting sectors in 2015 are Energy Industries (27 %), Transport (27 %), Agriculture (21 %) and Other Sectors (10 %). For the latter sector the most important sources are fuel combustion in the residential sector. GHG emissions show a slight decrease in the projection period from 2015 to 2025. The total emissions in 2015 are estimated to be 47.1 million tonnes CO2 equivalents and 44.6 million tonnes in 2025, corresponding to a decrease of 5 %. From 1990 to 2013 the emissions decrease by 21 %.

Stationary combustion

Stationary combustion includes Energy industries, Manufacturing industries and construction and Other sectors. Other sectors include combustion in commercial/institutional, residential and agricultural plants. The GHG emissions in 2015 from the main source, which is public power and heat production (56 %), are estimated to decrease in the period from 2015 to 2025 (9 %) due to a partial shift in fuel type from coal to wood and municipal waste as well as a decrease in fuel use following from the increase in wind power and photovoltaics in electricity production. Also, for residential combustion plants and combustion in manufacturing plants a significant decrease in emissions is projected; the emissions decrease by 28 % and 18 % from 2015 to 2025 respectively. The emissions from the other sectors remain almost constant over the period except for energy use in the offshore industry (oil and gas extraction), where the emissions increased by 145 % from 1990 to 2013 and projected to increase further by 14 % from 2015 to 2025. The reason for the increasing energy use in the offshore sector is the depletion of the oil and gas fields that make the extraction more energy intensive.

Fugitive emissions from fuels

The greenhouse gas emissions from the sector "Fugitive emissions from fuels" show large fluctuations in the historical years 1990-2013, due to emissions from exploration, which occur only in some years with varying amounts of oil and gas flared. Emissions from exploration are not included in the projection, as no projected activity data are available. Emissions are estimated to decrease in the projection period 2015-2030 by 12 %. The decrease mainly owe to expected decrease of offshore flaring in the oil and natural gas extraction. Emissions from extraction of oil and natural gas are estimated to decline over the projection period due to the expectation of a decrease of extracted amounts of natural gas. Emissions of greenhouse gases from other sources are estimated to be constant or nearly constant over the projection period.

Industrial processes and product use

The GHG emission from industrial processes and product use increased during the nineties, reaching a maximum in 2000. Closure of a nitric acid/fertiliser plant in 2004 has resulted in a considerable decrease in the GHG emission. The most significant sources of GHG emission in 2015 is cement production (49 %) and use of substitutes (f-gases) for ozone depleting substances (ODS) (33 %). The corresponding shares in 2030 are expected to be 77 % and 8 %, respectively. Consumption of limestone and the emission of CO2 from flue gas cleaning are assumed to follow the consumption of coal and waste for generation of heat and power. The GHG emission from this sector will continue to be strongly dependent on the cement production at Denmark’s one cement plant.

Transport and other mobile sources

Road transport is the main source of GHG emissions from transport and other mobile sources in 2015 (86 %) and emissions from this source are expected to be almost constant in the projection period 2015 to 2025. The emission shares for the remaining mobile sources (e.g. domestic aviation, national navigation, railways and non-road machinery in industry, households and agriculture) are small compared with road transport. Non-road machinery in agriculture, forestry and fishing contributes 9 % of the sectoral GHG emission in 2015 and this share is expected to stay at 9 % in 2025.


The main sources in 2015 are enteric fermentation (36 %), agricultural soils (36 %) and manure management (26 %). The corresponding shares in 2030 are expected to be 38 %, 35 % and 25 %, respectively. From 1990 to 2013, the emission of GHGs in the agricultural sector decreased by 19 %. In the projection years 2015 to 2030 the emissions are expected to increase by 2 %. The reduction in the historical years can mainly be explained by improved utilisation of nitrogen in manure, a significant reduction in the use of fertiliser and a reduced emission from N-leaching. Measures in the form of technologies to reduce ammonia emissions in stables and expansion of biogas production are considered in the projections, but emissions are estimated to increase due to an expected increase of the number of animals.


The total GHG emission from the waste sector has been decreasing in the years 1990 to 2013 by 36 %. The decreasing trend is expected to continue with a decrease of 21 % from 2015 to 2030. In 2015, GHG emission from solid waste disposal is predicted to contribute 64 % of the emission from the sector as a whole. A decrease of 46 % is expected for this source in the years 2015 to 2030, due to less waste deposition on landfills. An almost constant level for emissions from wastewater is expected for the projection period. GHG emissions from wastewater handling in 2015 contribute with 15 %. Emissions from biological treatment of solid waste contribute 19 % in 2015 and 35 % in 2030.


The LULUCF sector includes emissions from forestland management (FM), cropland management (CM) and grassland management (GM). In 2015 the GHG emissions from CM and GM were 4 336.8 Gg CO2 eqv. and 237.8 Gg CO2 eqv., respectively. The emission from CM is expected to decrease by 33 % in the projection period 2015-2030, while the emission from GM is expected to decrease by 115 % in the same period. The main drivers for this decrease is a reduction in the area with organic soil in agricultural crop production and an expected decrease in the emission from agricultural mineral soils as they are expected to approach an equilibrium state with the annual organic matter input to and the annual degradation of the organic matter in the mineral soils.

Projections of emissions/removals from forestry are carried out by the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Copenhagen University. They are not included in this report.