Phasing out the Use of Biomass

The Danish District Heating Association has assigned us to analyze the impact of phasing out the use of biomass in district heating. We have explored three scenarios of phasing out, all by 2035. In the first scenario, a 50 percent reduction is implemented. In the second scenario, a 75 percent reduction is implemented. In the third scenario, the phasing out of the use of biomass is 100 percent complete.

The use of biomass is set to be replaced by heat pumps and electric boilers, fueled by electricity from solar and wind parks. Consequently, the electricity demand is set to increase. Simultaneously, the electricity production from the thermal plants is set to decrease. Therefore, the capacity of onshore wind and solar parks needs to increase correspondingly.

Our analysis focuses on answering three questions:

1. How big is the need for new capacities of heat pumps, electric boilers, and onshore wind and solar parks?

2. How big are the changes in yearly costs and what are the investment and sunk costs for the phase-out?

3. What will the phasing out mean for land use?


A key factor is the replacement of costly biomass with sun and wind. Also, the life expectancy of the technologies has an important impact on the results. Solar and wind parks have a life expectancy of 35 years while thermal plants have 25 years. Boilers and heat pumps have a life expectancy of 20 years.

Meanwhile, the electricity production of solar and wind parks is less efficient. Consequently, the capacity needs to be higher than the capacity of thermal plants. Yet, the operational costs of solar and wind parks, boilers, and heat pumps are significantly lower than those of thermal plants.

The land use differs considerably. Phasing out the use of biomass could lead to a reduction of more than 90 pct. Land prices thus have a considerable impact on the bottom line.

Client: Danish District Heating

EML Team: Ida Græsted Jensen, Julius Lindberg Steensberg

Duration: April-June, 2024

Budget: DKK 126,000

Supporting District Energy Decarbonization

Photo of Copenhill thermal power plant with visible smoke

Energy Modelling Lab has joined TEN21, a collaboration platform supporting district energy decarbonization. We are organized by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) as a collaboration between experts across the district energy value chain. The name reflects our focus: Thermal Energy Networks for 21 Degrees of Indoor Comfort, TEN21.

Heating and cooling of buildings make up for a substantial part of energy consumption and total CO2 emissions. So far, only 20% of the heating and cooling provided to European Union buildings is produced using green energy. In comparison, research has shown that 35% of the heating and cooling demand in the EU could be met by using waste heat, an asset with limited use today.

Advancing and supporting district energy decarbonization is therefore of great importance for reaching the net-zero emissions goal.


The team of TEN21 has the experience, network, and expertise to deliver the services of

  • Committing local authorities and stakeholders
  • Provide a holistic analysis of local district energy systems and resources
  • Identify least-cost and emission solutions using the most feasible technologies
  • Design roadmaps and identify replicable and bankable investment projects (we identify what to invest in, how large the installation should be, when in time it should be realized, and when existing assets should be retired)
  • Develop models for business and finance


We tailor the energy system model TIMES to analyze city-level district energy systems. Using the model enables us to process all data on energy production, consumption, and resources as well as data on buildings, industries, transportation, land use, and other studied locations. Based on the analysis we study different scenarios and identify the optimal solutions.

Duration: April 2021 – ongoing


PartnersSweedish Environmental Research InstituteResourceful FuturesEURAC ResearchNODA Intelligent SystemsREWARDHeat

Energy Modelling Lab ContactKenneth Karlsson and Ida Græsted Jensen

Ancillary services costs in Sweden

illustration of ancillary services

We have been assigned by the Danish company Hybrid Greentech to develop a long-term forecast of ancillary services costs in Sweden. The forecast spans until 2050. At present, the electrification drive is inevitably leading to a surge in power demand. Consequently, a fundamental reconfiguration of our energy infrastructure is taking place. It must incorporate both intermittent renewables, flexible electricity demand, and the provision of ancillary services. 

So far, ancillary services have often been the unsung heroes of the power sector as these essential support systems ensure grid reliability. To make the forecast, we integrated and updated previous investigations into power production and demand. 

Potential innovative technologies

We took into consideration the production of green hydrogen in the Nordics. The flexibility of hydrogen production in the Nordics could be an important factor in the ancillary services market since a reduction of this production would most likely result in wider use of battery technologies. 

Potential innovative technologies could also have a high impact on the market for ancillary services. For example, the increasing number of electric vehicles means a large increase in power consumption. This increase, if managed flexibly, could potentially contain a total battery capacity of 250 GWh with a charging capacity of 50 GW. Such a capacity could support all the balancing requirements in all of Sweden if the potential is fully utilized. 

Electricity prices 

A long-term forecast of electricity production, consumption, and prices in Sweden was part of the analysis. In general, from 2020 to 2030 Sweden is expected to be a net exporter of electricity and from 2035 and onwards to be a net importer. Concerning consumption, an increase of about 80% in consumption from industry from 2020 to 2050 is expected. 

According to modelling results, the present price difference between the two Northern and the two Southern regions will decrease over time. 

Icon of modelling


We based our forecast of ancillary services costs on a qualitative assessment of research projects made by EML, assessing ancillary services markets in the TIMES models and other international research studies on the topic.

Icon of scenario analysis


We analyzed future power demand, the flexibility of electricity-demanding technologies in the power spot market, and the development of renewable intermittent technologies based on the integrated assessment model TIMES-NEU, a comprehensive energy system model covering the entire Northern European energy system. 

Icon of report/results


All results and calculations were presented in a comprehensive report to Hybrid Greentech. 

Duration: September 2023 

EML-Team: Mikkel Bosack Simonsen, Julius Lindberg Steensberg,  Kenneth Karlsson and Ida Græsted Jensen

Client: Hybrid Greentech 

Reference: Anton Osadchi


Local dialogue on green transition

Energy Modelling Lab is supporting an informed local dialogue on green transition, presenting charts on future demand, feasibility of new solar panel facilities and wind farms and suggestions of how to meet the increase demand.
Energy Modelling Lab is supporting an informed local dialogue on green transition, presenting charts on future demand, feasibility of new solar panel facilities and wind farms and suggestions of how to meet the increase demand.

The demand for green electricity is set to increase sharply in the coming decades. To meet the daily needs of the citizens as well as the industries, production capacity will have to rise accordingly. But which solutions are suitable and feasible on the municipal level? During 2023, Energy Modelling Lab is participating in a series of meetings to support local dialogue on green transition.

The meetings are organized by the Danish Board of Technology. Both citizens, representatives from the local industries, and decision-makers are participating. In many places, heads of the local industries and businesses are very keen on being at the forefront of the green transition. Also, experience shows that many citizens are knowledgeable and willing to engage. Dialogue can increase the support for the changes that the green transition entails.

Planning for PtX facility

During meetings in Vordingborg Municipality, we presented charts explaining the estimated increase in the demand for green electricity. Due to the planned installation of a PtX facility on the harbor, the demand is expected to rise by more than six times by 2050.

We showed that this demand could be met by a mix of new solar power facilities, wind farms, and other green energy sources. A number of on-shore and off-shore wind farms are currently being planned. If all of them are installed, they could meet even a 12-fold rise in demand. It is expected that access to green energy will attract new industrial facilities on the harbor.

In the Municipality of Kalundborg, we also presented charts explaining the land use needed to produce 1 million MWh by different kinds of green energy production facilities. The areas needed are presented in comparison to the total area of Kalundborg:

Chart explaining the land-use needed to produce 1 MWh by different kinds of green energy production facilities. The areas needed are presented in comparison to the total area of Kalundborg

We also showed the estimated energy generated, if solar panels were installed on the roofs of all buildings larger than 500 m2: It would amount to 200.000 MWh or enough to meet 20% of the estimated demand in 2030.

A common obstacle to the installation of solar power facilities and wind farms is the lack of support by local landowners and future neighbors. Insights into the actual land use needed can help set realistic goals when planning for future energy facilities.

Project: ”Fremtidens Grønne Energi og Borgerne” (“Future Green Energy and the Citizens”)

Duration: 2023

ClientThe Danish Board of Technology

Budget: DKK 100,000

Reference: Niels-Kristian Tjelle Holm,

EML Team: Ida Græsted Jensen and Kenneth Karlsson

Fremtidens grønne energi i Vordingborg

Udsigt over Vordingborg, hvor Energy Modelling Lab har afholdt dialog med borgerne om fremtidens grønne energiforsyning
Udsigt over Vordingborg, hvor Energy Modelling Lab har afholdt grøn dialog om fremtidens energiforsyning

I Vordingborg forventes efterspørgslen på grøn strøm at stige i de kommende år. Det drejer sig dels om grøn strøm til at dække det almindelige forbrug til husholdninger, transport og erhverv, dels til det planlagte PtX-anlæg på erhvervshavnen. Hvor skal strømmen komme fra? Energy Modelling Lab har deltaget i et borgermøde om fremtidens grønne energi i Vordingborg, organiseret af Teknologirådet.

Hvad det almindelige forbrug angår, kan efterspørgslen gå hen og stige med 45% frem til 2050. For PtX-anlæggets vedkommende, så drejer det sig om mere end en seks-dobling frem til 2050. På to møder har vi præsenteret forskellige muligheder for at producere tilstrækkelig med grøn strøm.

Det har givet de fremmødte Vordingborg-borgere et godt grundlag for en dialog om grøn energi. En række fremtrædende, lokale erhvervsledere er på forkant med den grønne omstilling, og mange borgere er både engageret og vidende. Erfaringen viser, at dialog kan bane vejen for øget opbakning til de forandringer, omstillingen til grøn energi indebærer.

Vordingborg Kommunes Klima- og teknikudvalg forventer at vedtage en strategiske energiplan i løbet af efteråret 2023.

Sol og vind

Beregninger viser, at de allerede planlagte solcelle- og landvindsanlæg i Kommunen kan dække efterspørgslen til det almindelige forbrug til husholdninger, transport og erhverv. Det er også muligt at forsyne PtX-anlægget med energi fra havvind, som man kan se på nedenstående diagrammer. Der er indsendt en række ansøgninger til Energistyrelsen om at opføre havvind-projekter i områder omkring Vordingborg Kommune. Hvis anlæggene bliver opført, kan de forsyne PtX-anlægget.

Grøn energi dialog med borgerne i Vordingborg Kommune. Beregninger viser, at der kan produceres grøn strøm nok til både almindeligt forbrug og det nye PtX anlæg.

PtX-anlægget på erhvervshavnen på Masnedø skal producere CO2 neutralt brændstof til luftfarten. Det bliver opført af virksomheden Arcadia eFuels.

Projekt: ”Fremtidens Grønne Energi og Borgerne”

Tidsperiode: 2023

EML-Team: Ida Græsted Jensen and Kenneth Karlsson

Klient: Teknologirådet

Budget: DKK 100,000

Reference: Niels-Kristian Tjelle Holm,

Supporting the Council on Climate Change

Energy Modelling Lab is updating and handing over the Danish Bioresource Model

Energy Modelling Lab is supporting the Danish Council on Climate Change. We are updating and handing over the Danish Biomass Resource Model, DK-BioRes, that we developed a few years ago. DK-BioRes is a flow-based model, It contains all Danish biomass resources from agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. The updated model will feature several technologies that are used to reduce carbon emissions and nitrification. As part of the project, we are building up the capacities of the staff at the Council so that they can use the model themselves.

With the DK-BioRes model at hand, The Danish Council on Climate Change can develop comprehensive scenarios of climate neutrality when it comes to land use, yield and emissions from agriculture, aquaculture and forestry. They can integrate the use of biomass and consumer behaviour in the scenario. The project is thus enhancing the capacities of the Council to provide suggestions for cost-effective climate policy solutions.

Building DK-BioRes


Energy Modelling Lab is updating the flow-based model DK-BioRES that we have developed. The model features all Danish biomass resources from agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture.

The model can generate scenarios of the impact of different strategies and of increasing the use of a range of technologies such as manure acidification and air cleaning to reduce carbon emissions.


Energy Modelling Lab trains the staff of the Danish Climate Council on updating and using the model to develop scenarios. We also include training on quality assurance of the scenarios.

By the end of the project, we are handing over the DK-BioRES Model to the Danish Climate Council assuring full ownership by the staff.

Duration: May – November 2023

EML Team: Ida Græsted Jensen and Kenneth Karlsson

Client: The Danish Council on Climate Change

Budget: DKK 320.000

Reference: Bodil Harder

Model: The Danish Bioressource Model (DK-BioRes)

Viet Nam to reach net-zero emissions

Viet Nam is making headways in planning for the energy sector and is heading to reach net-zero emissions in 2050. Viet Nam Energy Outlook Report 2021  examined possible pathways for the development of the energy sector, and it featured a trajectory to reach this target for the first time.

One major finding was that a sustainable energy system will enable self-sufficiency. Another is that wind and solar energy are cheaper long-term solutions than coal and gas. At present, coal is the leading source of power.

Energy Modelling Lab is developing the scenarios that will be used in a new energy-system model for the Energy Outlook Report 2023. The model makes it possible for decision-makers and energy and power planners to identify the most cost-effective and feasible pathways to achieve a sustainable green transition.

Building DK-BioRes


The first step is to meet with our Vietnamese partners and agree on the questions to address, relevant analyses to undertake, and scenarios to design.

Energy Modelling Lab then redesigns and updates the modelling framework. We strengthen the representation of new decarbonization technologies and integrate relevant constraints.


The core scenarios focus on the realization of the net-zero target. They allow for a comprehensive investigation of optimal solutions. The results are then reflected in recommendations for policymaking.

The process fosters a wide consensus and understanding of Viet Nam’s energy challenges and opportunities in the mid-to long term.


The Viet Nam Energy Outlook Report 2023 identifies the cost-optimized solutions that support Viet Nam’s energy system to become sustainable.

The Report allows for decision-makers to explore the system-wide implications of fulfilling targets by 2050. It also shows how Viet Nam can contribute to fulfilling the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Duration: March- December 2023

EML Team: Kenneth Karlsson, Ida Græsted Jensen &Till ben Brahim

Client: Danish Energy Agency 

Total budget: DKK 572.288

Reference: Giada Venturini, Danish Energy Agency

Collaborators: Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority (EREA, Vietnam), Hanoi University of Science and Technology, and E4SMA


Enhancing energy planning in Viet Nam

Energy Modelling Lab is enhancing energy planning in Viet Nam

Viet Nam is a regional manufactural hub and one of the most dynamic countries in East Asia, with the GDP annual growth rate averaging 6.2 per cent from 2000 until 2023. According to the analysis in the Viet Nam Energy Outlook Report 2021, electricity consumption will more than double in 2050 compared to 2020.

Viet Nam has pledged to reach the target of net-zero emissions by 2050. This means that the power system must meet more than 70 per cent of the total final energy demand with renewable energy-based electricity.

Energy Modelling Lab supports the endeavours to enhance energy planning in Viet Nam. We assist the Vietnamese authorities by building up their planning capacities concerning scenario-based, long-term modelling of the Vietnamese energy system. To this end, we are integrating an updated technology catalogue in the present energy system model and have included electricity storage solutions, P2X, nuclear technologies, optimal use of biomass, and carbon capture and storage.

Building DK-BioRes


Energy Modelling Lab updates the technology catalogue that is integrated into the present energy system model.

The catalogue includes decarbonisation technologies that are not yet being used and describes costs and relevant technical parameters.


The catalogue contributes to fostering data-driven discussions and understanding of the potential of decarbonization technologies.

The expected outcome of this process is a broader consensus on the potential.


The results will be integrated into the existing energy system model and can create first insights into cost-optimal applications of these technologies.

The results will contribute to making the Viet Nam Energy Outlook Report 2023 more comprehensive and enable decision-making on investments.

Duration: November 2022 – August 2023

EML Team: Kenneth Karlsson, Ida Græsted Jensen &Till ben Brahim

Client: UNOPS

Budget: DKK 93.438

Reference: Maurizio Gargiulo, Director of E4SMA

Collaborators: Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority (EREA, Vietnam), Danish Energy Agency (DEA) and E4SMA


Clean Nordic shipping

With a combined coastline of 43.000 km trading and traveling by sea is essential in the Nordic countries. At present, the maritime industry is facing a challenging green transition, diverting away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. Probing the possibilities for clean Nordic shipping is more relevant than ever.

There are many possible paths to a sustainable Nordic shipping industry. Energy Modelling Lab is involved in the HOPE project, launched by Nordic Energy Research. The full name of the project is Hydrogen Fuel Cells Solutions in shipping in relation to other low-carbon options – a Nordic perspective.

HOPE analyses alternatives for CO2-neutral marine fuels and propulsion technologies from a Nordic point of view, by assessing the role of hydrogen and fuel cell solutions in relation to other low or zero-carbon fuel options.

Through a series of scenario studies, the Nordic energy model (ON-TIMES) is used to find the optimal paths to a fossil-free shipping industry.

The project has a special focus on hydrogen and fuel cells in relation to the other low-carbon options.

Duration: November 2021 – February 2023

EML team: Kenneth Karlsson, Andrea Marin RadoszynskiAlexandra O’Sullivan Freltoft

Partners: IVL – Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Client: Nordic Energy Research

Budget: DKK 148,000

Reference: Julie Hansson, Senior Project Manager

Model: The Open Nordic TIMES model (ON-TIMES) can be found open source in our GitHub repository.