Cleantech Beats Pork as #1 Danish Export

The era of the pig in Denmark is over. (Photo: Johan Wessman/News Øresund [CC BY 3.0]/Flickr)

If asked, you might guess that butter cookies are the leading Danish export, but you would be wrong. The Danes are known for something even more tasty -- pork. Really, really good pork (to which this mostly kosher bacon binger can attest) and for decades pork has led the charge in Danish GDP (after taxes).

But as of 2009, pork will no longer be the leading Danish export. This can be accounted for by two trends. First is an 18% drop in pork exports as more pigs are being sent to Germany where labor is cheaper in the meat industry. Denmark always closely followed the U.S. as the leading pork exporter but now that honor goes to Germany.

Second is the rapid growth in the Danish cleantech sector. Almost mirroring the pork decline, clean tech posted 19% growth in 2008 totaling 64 billion DKK, double the number of energy exports just ten years prior.

We got this tip from Thomas Nordli of Rockwool Insulation, a leading manufacturer of ultra-efficient insulation products. We visited the Rockwool headquarters today in Hedehusene where we learned more about the science of insulation and how it fits into the cleantech universe.