Pension Danmark calls on politicians to allow private investment in power grid [corrected]

One of Denmark’s biggest pension funds says it is ready to invest in the Danish electricity network, which is said to need up to DKK48bn (€427m) of investment by 2030, and calls for changes to the law to make way for private investment.

A spokeswoman for PensionDanmark reaffirmed to IPE Real Assets comments made to Danish newspaper Berlingske Business that the fund would like to invest in the transmission network but was being prevented due it being fully owned by the state via Energienet.

Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive of PensionDanmark, told the newspaper that the DKK248bn pension fund was “very open to investing” in energy transmission and distribution networks.

In the article, Ulrik Dan Weuder, deputy director of alternative investments at ATP, said the DKK838bn pension fund was very interested in investing in electricity transmission, which was a rapidly growing market.

Based on the current coalition government’s goal of having a million low-emission cars in 2030, the lobby organisation for Danish energy companies, Danish Energy, produced an analysis of what this would require of the country’s electricity distribution networks.

According to the group’s report, published last week, investment of between DKK32bn and DKK48bn is needed in the electricity network in Denmark between 2019 and 2030 to maintain the same level of energy distribution as today and provide capacity for a million green cars by 2030.

Last autumn, Danish energy company Ørsted tried to sell the country’s largest electricity distribution network company Radius, but the effort was halted at a late stage in mid-January because political backing was withdrawn.

Möger Pedersen said he would urge politicians to consider letting the pension companies help with the task of, for example, laying new cables between Denmark and Germany, to facilitate utilisation of the wind energy capacity.

PensionDanmark already invests in a similar way in Germany, which allows private investment, he said and had also invested in a large transformer station in the North Sea for offshore wind turbines in partnership with the Dutch counterpart to Energinet.

Parts of an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that ATP was one of Denmark’s biggest pension funds calling for changes to the law to allow investment the Danish electricity network. The error was also repeated in the headline. ATP has not made a call for changes to the law. ATP is interested in investments in electricity infrastructure in general.

 

 

 

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