Towards 50% wind electricity in Denmark: Dilemmas and challenges
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- Bach, PF. Eur. Phys. J. Plus (2016) 131: 161. doi:10.1140/epjp/i2016-16161-0
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Electricity and heat supply systems are essential contributors to a fossil-free future in Denmark. The combined production of heat and power (CHP) and the production of wind energy are already well developed in Denmark. Combined heat and power covers about 40% of the demand for space heating in Denmark, and the production of wind energy is supposed to exceed 50% of the demand for electricity by 2020. The changing electricity and heat production has some consequences already now: i) Decreasing wholesale prices in Denmark and in other countries. ii) Thermal power plants are closing down. Denmark is no longer self-sufficient with electricity under all conditions. iii) The electricity production pattern does not match the demand pattern. The result is that the neighbouring countries must absorb the variations from wind and solar power. Essential challenges: i) The future of combined heat and power in Denmark is uncertain. ii) Denmark will need new backup capacity for filling the gaps in wind power and solar cell output. iii) Flexible electricity consumers are supposed to contribute to balancing the future power systems. There is still a long way to go before the Smart Grid visions are implemented in large scale. iv) The transformation of the power system will create new risks of power failures.