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25 years of experiences with Voluntary Agreement Scheme for Large Industries in Denmark

Panel: 2. Policy: governance, design, implementation and evaluation challenges

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Jette Ellegaard Vejen, Danish Energy Agency/Energistyrelsen
, Denmark
Peter Maagøe Petersen, Viegand Maagøe, Denmark


Denmark has a long tradition of active energy policy, initiated by the first oil crisis in 1973. Over the years, numerous actions have been taken supported by broad consensus in the Danish Parliament to reduce the energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency and to increase the share of renewable energy.

A systematic Danish energy efficiency policy addressing the industrial sector took its beginning in the early 1990s.The energy consumption in industry had increased steadily until then. In 1990 the government launched an overall energy plan on how to reach its ambitious climate and energy policy goals. Analyses showed that cost effective CO2 reductions could be achieved in the industrial sector, but also that governmental action was necessary to overcome a number of barriers.

The Voluntary Agreement Scheme for Large Indusries was launched in 1992 as a central measure targeting the industrial sector and have until today continued to be a central measure targeting industrial energy efficiency in Denmark.

The paper will describe 25 years of experiences from operating and developing the scheme in order to continuously securing a cost-efficient program:

– The principle of voluntary agreements

– The political framework supporting the scheme

– The different phases of the scheme and how it has developed

– The authorithy’s management principles

– Technical experiences and the continued development of focus areas

– Results from continued evaluations of the scheme

Overall, the scheme has been very successful reducing energy consumption of the participating companies by 4,8% in the period 2000–2003 and by a further 5,4% in 2006–2013.


Download this paper as pdf: 2-339-17_EllegaardVejen.pdf

Download this presentation as pdf: 2-339-17_Vejen_presentation.pdf