Integration of Variable Renewables in Denmark

The Danish experience in integrating fluctuating renewable energies (particularly wind)

  • Project Duration: 03/2015 - 06/2015

As renewable energies continue to expand, especially wind and solar power, the demand for flexibility in the power and energy system is growing. Denmark and Germany face similar challenges in the transition from a fleet of conventional power plants to a renewable electricity system with fluctuating power. These challenges are both technical and regulatory and they are embedded in the designs of each power market. A growing share of renewable energy is being fed into the system at costs close to zero. This is manifesting itself in an increasing number of hours of negative prices (in 2014: 64 hours in Germany and 46 hours in Denmark).

Denmark has become a role model in integrating wind energy into its power system. Wind now comprises more than 39 percent of power usage (2014). By 2035, the Danish government has said it wants a heating and power system that runs on 100% renewable energy.

This study analyses the Danish experience with the challenge of flexibility as it integrates fluctuating power from renewable energies (particularly wind). The report evaluates a number of concrete measures in the Danish context: Making thermal production more flexible, district heating as a system integrator, making system services available to reduce must-run units, the use of interconnectors, and creating more flexibility on the demand side.

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