The Nordic region (“Norden”) consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as their autonomous regions.
A third of total Nordic energy supply is renewable, and half of it is CO2-free. Norway plays a unique role, with virtually all of its electricity being based on hydropower in years with normal precipitation. There is a large degree of electrification in other Norwegian energy sectors, including space heating and an increasing diffusion of electric cars.
Electricity in Sweden is supplied half by nuclear energy and half by hydropower, with rising shares of wind energy. Norway and Sweden promote renewable electricity by means of a common quota system with tradable green certificates.
The electricity mixes in Denmark and Finland comprise conventional thermal generation (including a high share of combined heat and power), as well as increasing generation from renewables. Denmark is striving for an ambitious green energy transition, called “den grønne omstilling”. The major objective is the implementation of an entirely renewable energy system, across all sectors, by 2050. The transition to an entirely renewable energy system implies a shift from coal to wind energy and biomass in electricity and heat generation. In 2014, Denmark set a new record when 39 percent of its electricity consumption was covered by wind energy. Some challenges related to the Danish energy transition are similar to those encountered as part of the German “Energiewende”.
Both Finland and Denmark apply different variants of feed-in tariffs/price premiums in order to promote renewables (and tendering schemes for offshore wind in Denmark).
The Nordic countries have substantial experience in integrating renewable energy sources across different sectors and in balancing power across regions. This provides valuable lessons learnt for the German energy transition. Power market integration progressed very early in the Scandinavian countries.
The Nordic markets comprise the Elspot market (day-ahead), intraday trade (Elbas), and the Nordic balancing market (NOIS). Denmark constitutes the “bridge” between Germany and the other Nordic countries, with interconnectors from Western and Eastern Denmark to Northern Germany. In the future, there will also be a direct transmission line from Germany to Norway when NordLink is built.