Help us move towards the sustainable energy system of the future
In Denmark we aim at creating a sustainable energy system that is 100 % independent of fossil fuels. However, we are not there yet. We need your help to crack the code, using innovative thinking and our data to explore the possibilities of technology, data and digitalization.
Key words: Sustainability, Energy, Renewable energy, Data, Digitalisation, Technology.
Industry: Energy, IT
Focus area: Energy is a prerequisite for modern society and the demand for energy is as high as ever. Therefore, “Affordable and Clean energy” is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set forth by the UN. The goal is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all human beings.
The Danish energy system is characterised by a high share of renewable energy. In the coming years, the share of renewable energy sources within the energy system will increase. This share must reach 55 % by the year 2030.
The goals for the future are even more ambitious and by 2050, Denmark must be a climate-neutral society. This requires effective utilization of the renewable energy produced. With the existing way of doing things we should be able to reach 55 % by the year 2030. Yet to get to 100 %, we need to rethink our business models and the energy system as a whole.
The Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate has the governmental responsibility to ensure that Denmark is moving towards a society based on renewables. The ministry also holds the responsibility for national and international efforts to prevent climate change.
Energinet owns, operates and develops the transmission systems for electricity and natural gas in Denmark. Energinet must maintain a high level of security of supply, integrate renewable energy and promote optimal conditions for Denmark’s electricity and gas markets.
Challenge: How can we create a more sustainable energy system and thereby contribute to the goal of 55 % renewable energy in 2030 and the end goal of becoming a climate-neutral society no later than 2050?
For the last century, electricity has been produced based on fossil power plants that adjusted their production to meet electricity consumption. With current technology it is not economically viable to store electricity – therefore electricity has to be produced in the same moment it is consumed. Until now, it has been possible to integrate significant amounts of fluctuating renewables into the energy system. However, going to very high levels of fluctuating renewables – and ultimately 100 % renewables – it will become increasingly difficult for the supply side to provide the needed flexibility to meet demands. Thus, it is necessary to find solutions regarding the supply and demand side of the energy system.
- How can consumers help create a more sustainable energy system?
Today, the potential for providing flexibility by industry is partly utilized (i.e. moving their energy consumption). However, given that 45 % of the total consumption of electricity comes from small consumers there seems to be a large potential for small consumers to provide flexibility to the energy system – especially now where information on consumer patterns are obtained through IOT-devices. Thus, consumers will be an essential part of the solution when moving towards an energy system that is more independent of fossil fuels. The energy system can potentially be developed further, by adding smart small-scale or large-scale solutions, to make consumption flexible – even for small consumers. This determines the flexibility required from a supply perspective (electricity generation).
- How can the supply side be managed to meet the demand in a flexible manner?
As highlighted above, a supply side based 100 % on renewables still needs to be flexible; so solutions also have to come from the supply side i.e. the production and distribution of en-ergy. The supply of energy is changing and becoming more decentralized as more renew-ables are produced locally and more consumers are becoming energy producers (prosum-ers). At the same time, the cost of producing renewable energy is falling and new technolo-gies are being developed. Digitalization, technology and new business models will contrib-ute, both small-scale as well as large-scale, to obtain new renewable, flexible and cost effi-cient solutions – solutions that can provide new ways of balancing the energy system. These solutions can also come from new collaborations e.g. between different energy sys-tems such as the electricity grid, gas grid and heating sector to secure an efficient utilization of energy from renewable energy sources.
Considerations: There are many ways to address the issues presented above. Yet we believe that the key could be in the information and the huge amounts of data that is being gathered from meters, censors and IOT-devices.
No single solution will make us completely independent of fossil fuels. The solutions to get us there will be many and varied – it will require all sorts of innovative thinking from very technical solutions to behavioural changes. All these new ways of thinking about our energy system shall help Denmark along the way to reach the end goal of becoming climate-neutral by the year 2050.
The Ministry and Energinet will with excitement look into the solutions offered by the partici-pants. Following the finals, the Ministry and Energinet will likely engage in a dialogue with the participants offering the best solutions and in collaboration see how far we can take the ideas.
Data will made available from DMI and Energinet for the teams working on the challenge during the developers’ weekend.
Energinet – Data about the energy system:
- Energi Data Service
- DataHub marked reporting and background data
These data can be accessed using the link: https://energinet.dk/El/Data-om-energisystemet
Nord Pool – Data about energy market prices:
- Marked data
These data can be accessed using the link: https://www.nordpoolgroup.com/
DMI – weather data:
- Heating and cooling degree days
- Wind data
- Solar radiation
Sdfe.dk-Klimatilpasning.dk (see the Data Catalogue): http://www.klimatilpasning.dk/media/1267185/datakatalog_til_klimatilpasning.pdf)
Please note that this includes access to confidential data. https://energinet.dk/Analyse-og-Forskning/Analyser/RS-Analyse-Marts-2018-Systemperspektiv-2035
External data (be creative, find more):
Examples of existing solutions that contribute to a more sustainable energy system:
GO CRAZY AND HAVE A GREAT TIME