Want to see your future? Study Denmark

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: Those of you with a technical bent will want to spend some time on this thorough article from IEEE, which describes the once and future Danish power system. Utilities in the U.S. spend a lot of time (rightfully) bemoaning all the disruptive changes headed their way at the same time. But if they think they have it tough, they haven't seen what Denmark is up against. By studying where Denmark is now, where it wants to go, and how it plans to get there, you can get a sneak preview of your own future. - By Jesse Berst

 

Why study Denmark's electric power system and future plans? First, many of Denmark's current conditions are already far ahead of North America. For example, about 60% of all heating is supplied through district heating systems.

 

Second, many of Denmark's future goals are far more ambitious. The country intends to run entirely on renewable energy no later than 2050, for instance. And it expects wind power (yes, highly variable, intermittent wind power) to provide a full 50%.

 

Third, Denmark is not afraid to experiment with technologies that North American utilities typically reject as too risky. Here are just a few of the concepts that are actively being tested (in some cases deployed).

·         Advanced modeling and simulation

·         Advanced forecasting

·         Co-generation and district heating

·         Demand response

·         Distributed generation for load following and ancillary services

·         Electric vehicles

·         Energy storage (electric and thermal, especially electric boilers)

·         Real-time optimization

·         Remote cooling

 

Read the full article, "Energy Comes Together in Denmark."

 

Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.

 

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