Heat pumps are the future of district heating

In the near future wind and solar will take over the electricity market. As a result the thermal power and district heating plants will close down faster than the Danish Energy Agency projects.

In this analysis for Dansk Fjernvarme, Energy Modelling Lab has dived into the details of the future of district heating in Denmark, to explore where the heat will come from, and if our energy system will get too vulnerable without the thermal powerplants.


Key findings

In the future district heating will primarily come from large scale heat pumps and surplus heat from PtX-plants and data centers.

The thermal power and heat plants are being phased out faster than the Danish Energy Agency projects.

An energy system with a low diversity comes with an increased risk of failure.


Read the full analysis here (in Danish):


Building DK-BioRes

MODELLING
Energy Modelling Lab has updated the Danish TIMES model (TIMES-DK) to include 23 individual district heating areas and four aggregated areas.

SCENARIO ANALYSIS
Energy Modelling Lab has investigated the consequences of an upper limit in biomass used for power and heat and an upper limit in the number of PtX-plants.

REPORT
All results and scenarios are collected in the report above.


Year: 2022

EML TeamMikkel Bosack Simonsen, Ida Græsted Jensen, Alexandra O’Sullivan Freltoft

Client: Dansk Fjernvarme

Model: TIMES-DK

ETSAP Newsletter 2022 – An active member of the modelling community

As part of the ETSAP community, Energy Modelling Lab is both developing the TIMES model framework, using it for a range of projects, and share our experiences within the network.


PROJECTS AROUND THE GLOBE

Energy Modelling Lab har worked on models for countries around the world.

In the Nordics countries we have both investigated paths to a climate neutral future and dived into the shipping industry, to investigate which fuels will power the future sea transport.

In Vietnam we have supported the local modelling team, and in Azerbaijan we have build a full country model from scratch, facilitated workshops with the key stakeholders with the key stakeholder in energy planning in the country and trained local modelers to run the model.

New features in TIMES-DK

Inspired by the discussions at the ETSAP meeting in Oslo 2021, we have added energy storage in TIMES-DK.

Additionally we have added different ancillary services to the model, such as balancing the electricity grid when the demand is greater than the supply.

Giving back to the community

We are always happy to participate in the ETSAP-community activities. After a long period of webinars, it was a relief to join the biannual ETSAP meeting in Oslo in November 2021.

Over the past year we have also expanded the modelling community by training two new employees in the TIMES-model framework. Other than that we have supported a bachelor student from University of Southern Denmark in a project on energy islands, three students from the Technical University of Denmark in a project on German hydrogen demand and a Swedish PhD student on a new model of Gothenburg.

The community is growing, one modeler at a time.


If you want to read the full newsletter, you can find it here:

The role of fossil gas in the Nordics

The challenge of reducing the dependency of fossil gas differs between the Nordic countries. Therefore each country has its own set of challenges to solve.


Norway exports while Sweden and Finland imports gas

Denmark is connected to central Europe and receives the gas mix in the grid from both Russia and Norway. (The Danish gas production is temporarily low due to maintenance of the Tyra Field).

Finland gets gas directly from Russia and through Estonia.

Norway exports a large amount of gas mainly to central Europe and partly to the Danish grid.

Sweden gets gas from the European grid through Denmark.

The import and export of fossil gas in the Nordic countries (2020). Source: Eurostat

Fossil gas use differs between the nordic countries

In Denmark around 350,000 buildings are heated by gas, and switching to district heating or heat pumps is a major task in the years to come.

Finland primarily uses gas for electricity and heat production and industry, especially pulp and paper and iron and steal production consumes large amounts of gas. Switching to green energy sources in these processes is the primary task for Finland.

Norway does not have a high domestic gas use in the society as such, but the fossil fuel extraction uses a large amount of gas today. Electrification of the energy production can reduce the fossil gas consumption substantially.

Sweden mainly use gas for non-energy purposes such as fertilizer and plastics, but also for process heat in the iron and steal production, chemical industry and pulp and paper production.

The use of fossil gas differs between the Nordic countries. Source: Eurostat

If you want to dive into more details on the role of fossil gas in the Nordic countries, you can find the full analysis here. The analysis is made in collaboration with IVL and Energiforsk.

Climate neutral agriculture in Denmark

The Danish agricultural sector is facing the green transition and many ideas have been proposed to reach climate neutrality in 2050. In this brief, we suggest two pathways to climate neutrality to follow the general goals of a 70% reduction in 2030 and a 100% reduction in 2050.


70% green house gas reduction by 2030

100% green house gas neutral by 2050

No animal feed import by 2050

Technology optimistic or technology independent

The first scenario is a technology optimistic scenario while the second scenario to a larger extent can reach the goals without the technological development. In both scenarios, a large increase in the forest areas is necessary such that the forest area in 2050 is approximately double the area of today.

In the technology optimistic scenario, the amount of farm animals can be kept on the same level as today because the biogas and pyrolysis plants can reduce part of the emissions and the forests compensate for the rest of the emissions. In the technology independent scenario, it is necessary to reduce the amount of farm animals to reach the climate targets.

Key figures

FOREST
1.000.000 ha, roughly 23% of the Danish land mass, must be covered in forest by 2050.

The forestation should happen sooner rather than later so 160.000 – 200.000 ha should be converted into forest already by 2030.

LOW LAND AREAS
100.000 ha carbon rich low land soil should be converted into nature areas by 2030.

All 178.700 ha low land soil must be converted into nature by 2050.

ANIMALS
In a technology optimistic scenario, with a sharp increase in forest area, the animal production can remain the same size as today.

In a technology independent scenario a 15% reduction in animal production by 2030, and a 30% reduction in 2050 relative to today is necessary.

If the steep forest area does not happen, a further reduction in the animal production is necessary.

Read the full analysis


The model is open sourced

Make your own scenarios. Download the full model used for the brief from our GitHub repository.

Reducing air pollution saves billions of kroner

When discussing how expensive the green transition becomes for the Danish society, it is important to consider more aspects than only the investments needed.

Our results show that when looking solely on the saved health costs from the reduction in air pollution, the society can save 10 to 20 billion Danish kroner per year.

Several Danish studies estimates the cost of the transition to be approximately 13 to 26 billion Danish kroner a year from 2025 to the year when the transition is complete. These costs often do not include the savings for the society in terms of, e.g., less air pollution.

Read the full analysis (Danish):

IEA ETSAP Newsletter 2021

EML activities in the IEA ETSAP community

Time frame: Late 2019 to spring 2021

EML: Energy Modelling Lab ApS – energymodellinglab.com

IEA (Interational Energy Agency) Technology Collaboration Programme ETSAP (Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program) – iea-etsap.org

EML is an active member of the ETSAP community. EML has and continues to contribute to the ETSAP community in 2020 and 2021. We continue the Danish collaboration and participation at the IEA-ETSAP, Annex X to XIV under the new Annex XV. Our partners and consultants are actively developing TIMES models in several projects, regularly attend ETSAP’s biannual workshops and webinars, took VEDA-TIMES trainings, were and will continue teaching energy systems analysis courses at post-graduate level by deploying the TIMES framework, develop auxiliary tools to improve pre- and post processing tasks and succefully migrated from VEDA1 to VEDA2 during ongoing projects.

Projects

TitleModelPeriodPartnersDescriptionWebsite
NCES2020 Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios 2020ON-TIMES2020

2021
Energiforsk, NMBU, EA, VTT, IVLThe work builds on the NETP projects by complementing the cost-effective pathways with deeper analysis of uncertainty and alternative socio-technical framework conditions. This includes policy, technology shifts, economic outlook, developments in other countries and other societal changes that have an impact on the Nordic region – DK, FI ,IS ,NO and SE.nces2020.tokni.com – under construction!
UEOR2021 Energy Outlook Report for UkrainTIMES-UA2019

2021
UEDC, MoE, DEA, EAThis project develops an independent study of the Ukrainian energy system, which analyses development scenarios for input to national energy strategy documents and provides policy recommendations to achieve national energy and climate goals. Furthermore, the modelling results of this project can also be used to contribute to the National Energy and Climate Change Plan for the period 2021-2030 (NECP).timesukraine.tokni.com
VEOR2021 Vietnam Energy Outlook Report 2021TIMES-Vietnam2021

2021
EREA, DEAThe objective of the project is that Vietnam’s energy system becomes more sustainable through implementation of cost-optimized policy and planning by assisting MOIT and EREA to commission, develop, and analyse comprehensive long-term energy scenarios. 
LTES-AZ Long-term Energy Strategy for AzerbaijanTIMES-AZ (to be dev.)2021

2022
MoE, EQUINOCCIO, Ramboll, NIRASThis technical assistance tackles the needs of Azerbaijan of reviewing and updating the Long-Term Energy Strategy (LTES) in the light of the recent situation in AZ. Another important focus in this technical assistance is to build up capacity in Azerbaijan to continue the work with LTES and in general to work with energy system analysis as a method for planning future investments and points of focus. 

Meetings

Biannual workshops

The biannual workshops focus on the practice of modelling and use of ETSAP tools e.g. MARKAL/TIMES modelling frameworks, participation in training activities and collaboration in projects related to the improvement of ETSAP tools. In general, the contribution to these workshops shall be based on current and future projects, particular within EU, Nordic and Danish research programs – by involving PhD students from Danish universities.

Our director and partners participated in several IEA-ETSAP semi-annual meetings over last years:

For all past and coming workshops please see here.

Webinars

Members of EML attended several ETSAP webinars:

  • 2020-11-26: How to build a TIMES model from scratch
  • 2020-12-10: Modelling clean energy transitions: approaches and tools for the World Energy Outlook and the Energy Technology Perspectives
  • 2021-01-21: Developing and using TIMES models with git, GitHub and VEDA
  • 2021-02-23: ETSAP webinar: High temporal and spatial resolution modelling in TIMES models
  • 2021-03-30: Stochastic Modelling of VRES in TIMES and Modelling high VRES with hourly TS resolution, unit commitment, dispatch and capacity expansion in TIMES

Training

Ida participated in the 3 days ETSAP VEDA-Times web training.

For future trainings please see here.

Teaching

EML is teaching energy system modelling on the basis of the TIMES modelling framework. In the current term Mikkel and Kenneth are offering the course TIMES-DK modelling to graduate students at SDU. The duration is approx. 20 weeks from February to June 2021.

Background

The students are given insights into the TIMES modelling framework and will deploy the Danish model TIMES-DK to assess the Danish energy systems within the scope of their individual assignments.

Objectives

The course aims to provide the students with knowledge and abilities to work in the TIMES-framework, which includes but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Sector coupling of the full energy system
  • Time aspect in the making of energy system assessment
  • Resources barriers such as bioenergy, wind, solar and fossil potentials
  • Carbon budgets and national GHG targets

Method

Weekly lectures combined with practical assignments and project work in groups. Results of case works are an integrated part of the teaching and will be presented and evaluated during the course.

Auxilliary tools

At EML we develop several auxiliary tools. Currently, we work on two tools, one to include biomass potentials for energy use in our analysis and the other to seamlessly aggregate and transmit data from a VEDA batch export excel file to our websites hosted by Tokni:

  • A biomass model – for more information contact Ida
  • Veda to TOKNI – for more information contact Till

VEDA migration

Within the Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios (NCES2020) project EML migrated the development of the open source Nordic TIMES model (ON-TIMES) from VEDA1 to VEDA2. It includes all of the 5 nordic countries, i.e. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and serves the purpose of informing decision-makers and support the common Nordic commitment to carbon neutrality through strong, collaborative Nordic research and analysis.

Download a copy