Look to Danes for Energy Know-How

Tiny nation responded to '73 crisis with bikes, wind, oil tax: Friedman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2008 9:17 AM CDT
Look to Danes for Energy Know-How
A speed boat passes by offshore windmills in the North Sea offshore from the village of Blavandshuk near Esbjerg, Denmark, in this file photo taken on Wednesday, Oct.30, 2002.    (AP Photo/Heribert Proepper)

Hey, America, looking for a way to solve the energy crisis? Try following Denmark's lead, writes Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times. The country has a few simple fixes that go a long way: Friedman observes half the rush-hour traffic is bicycles; wind provides 20% of the country's power; and tax incentives help reduce the addiction to oil.

Denmark responded very differently to the 1973 energy crisis, at which point its energy minister says, “we got 99% of our energy from the Middle East. Today it is zero.” Gas costs $10 a gallon—but nobody's complaining. And rather than economic punishment, high prices have spurred job growth in new industries like wind power—in which “we’ve had 35 new competitors coming out of China in the last 18 months,” said the minister, “and not one out of the US.” (More energy policy stories.)

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