When there is no wind and the sun is not shining, electricity becomes so expensive that we risk power cuts. Here are five suggestions to address the problem, writes Head of Development at the Danish District Heating Association Kim Behnke and 11 co-authors in this opinion piece, which was published on 23 November 2022 in Altinget.
Putting a bandage on a broken arm, that is very much how the Energy Bills Support, and the Energy Bills Relief schemes feel like. Although these schemes are very much welcome in tackling the rise in energy costs, it does raise concerns whether this is too short-sighted and will hurt in the long run. Perhaps encouraging energy conscious behaviour and promoting good energy habits is also required?
In Denmark, renewables are widely referred to as the “champagne of energy”. Because we can’t always rely on the sun to shine or the wind to blow, renewable energy will always be scarce and therefore a costly resource that should be used sparingly and intelligently. Hence, satisfying our future energy requirements from renewables will always require a guaranteed supply of energy.
It is clear to see why Danish heat consumers with individual gas-fired boilers living in gas network zones are screaming for heat networks. Odsherred Heat Network is not an uncommon example of how having a wide energy mix is lowering costs for consumers, and the more heat network connections are made the lower the price of heat will be in the future.
Denmark has a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% in 2030 and a goal of 100% climate neutrality in 2050. Fundamental to achieving this goal is the transition of the Danish heating sector to near-zero CO2 emissions by 2030.
To assess how the heat sector can transform in a technically, economically, and environmentally appropriate way in such a short period of time, researchers at the University of Aalborg (AUU) developed the Heat Plan Denmark 2021. This document sets out how the heating sector can transform relatively quickly using technologies that are already available.