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Denmark unveils energy plan to be ‘free from Putin’

COPENHAGEN — Denmark presented on Tuesday a roadmap to end its dependence on Russian gas through a mix that includes renewable energy and biogas to become "free" from President Vladimir Putin.

While the European Union has refused to ban Russian oil and gas over the Ukraine war so far, the 27-nation bloc aims to cut its gas imports from the country by the end of the year.

Individual member countries have also unveiled plans to cut their use of Russian fossil fuels.

The plan presented by the Danish government includes moving half of the 400,000 households that are heated with gas to district heating networks or electric heat pumps by 2028.

For other households and businesses, the government aims to develop biogas from renewable sources "that will ensure that we are free from Putin," Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jorgensen said at a press conference.

The government also stepped up its program to develop renewable energy, saying it now plans to quadruple the number of solar power stations and land-based wind farms by 2030.

Half of Denmark's electric power already comes from wind energy.

"We want to develop renewable energies as much as it is possible to do it in an intelligent manner," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

Gas accounts for 18 percent of energy consumed in Denmark each year. National production accounted for three quarters of the gas consumed in 2019, with Russia among the main exporters of the fossil fuel, according to the Danish energy agency.

The International Energy Agency says that, in 2021, the EU imported 155 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia, representing 45 percent of its gas imports. — Agence France-Presse