In percentage terms, Denmark is the world leader in energy transition, as well as the king of wind power. Wind now supplies 42% of all Denmark’s electricity, and by 2020, the country plants to get fully half of its power from wind. It’s also the only developed country in the world with a serious plan to achieve 100% of its energy – just not electricity, but all energy – from renewables, and plans to do it by 2050. In this episode we talk with energy journalist Justin Gerdes about his new e-book on Denmark’s energy transition, Quitting Carbon: How Denmark Is Leading the Clean Energy Transition and Winning the Race to the Low-Carbon Future.

Geek rating: 2

Guest: Justin Gerdes, independent journalist specializing in energy issues based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His work has appeared at, the Guardian, Yale Environment 360,,, and Ensia, among others.

On Twitter: @JustinGerdes

On the Web:

Recording date: April 15, 2016

Air date: May 18, 2016


Justin Gerdes: Copenhagen’s Ambitious Push To Be Carbon Neutral by 2025,” Yale Environment 360 (April 11, 2013)

Justin Gerdes: What Copenhagen Can Teach Cities About Adapting To Climate Change,” (October 31, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Copenhagen Shows How Cities Can Become Clean Tech Leaders,” (October 30, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Project Zero: A Roadmap For Local Energy Security And Carbon Neutrality In Southern Denmark,” (October 29, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Copenhagen’s Seawater Cooling Delivers Energy And Carbon Savings,” (October 24, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Community Wind Projects Poised To Take Off In Denmark,” (October 22, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Denmark Pushes Through First-Ever EU Energy Efficiency Law,” (June 18, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Denmark To Double Wind Power By 2020, Be Fossil Fuel-Free By 2050,” (March 31, 2012)

Justin Gerdes: Copenhagen’s Green Sheen: It’s Not Just About the Bikes,” (January 23, 2012)

State of Green: The Political Framework (State of Green is a public-private partnership founded by the Danish Government and various industry groups.)

Renewables Grid Initiative (Berlin-based NGO working on a European supergrid)

Dong Energy: “Survey Reveals High Danish Climate Aspirations” (May 11, 2016)

Sustainable Brands:This Company Accounts for More Than Half of Denmark’s CO2 Reduction” (Mar 16, 2016)

Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker: “The Island in the Wind” (Jul 7, 2008)

Laurie Guevara-Stone, RMI: “A Small Country Goes Big with Renewables: Denmark’s goal to be fossil fuel free” (Mar 2, 2016)

John Perlin: Let It Shine: The 6,000 Year Story of Solar Energy