Energy Cluster Denmark launches new roadmap for all the energy cluster’s innovation projects

9. April 2021

The Danish energy sector is bubbling with innovation, new technologies and green business models, and energy companies, along with research institutions, are seeking to draw up the contours of a future energy system based solely on renewable sources.  

The Danish energy sector is now shifting gears in the green transition to reach Denmark’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030.

Energy Cluster Denmark is launching a so-called “innovation roadmap”, which will serve as the sector’s joint working programme and guideline in 2021, thereby contributing to a further acceleration of the green transition.

“We need to focus our efforts and exclusively launch innovation projects that solve specific challenges in the energy sector and thus help Denmark achieve its 2030 target,” said Glenda Napier, CEO of Energy Cluster Denmark.

Over 20 technological challenges 

Energy Cluster Denmark has sought to obtain input from all the trade associations of the energy sector for the roadmap, which therefore constitutes a collective roadmap that is the product of all the parties; Hydrogen Denmark, Danish Energy, the Danish District Heating Association, the Danish Energy Industries Federation, Oil Gas Denmark, SYNERGI and Wind Denmark have all come together to set the course and have formulated more than 20 specific technological challenges that the sector must collaborate on.

The challenges fall within five focus areas (see fact box for more specific definitions):  
  • Expand renewable energy
  • Improve energy storage, PTX, CCS and CCU
  • Improve and recycle energy infrastructure
  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Increase electrification and sector coupling

“We have formulated a clear working programme that covers all the electro-engineering fields across the entire energy sector. We know the areas where we need to develop and facilitate innovation collaborations. This will ensure that we exclusively work on technology and innovation projects that make a real difference in the sector and contribute to solving a specific technological challenge on the road to 2030,” said Napier.

The challenges fall within five focus areas:  
  • Expand renewable energy 
    • Industry standardisation with a focus on LCOE improvements
    • Development of solutions for operation and maintenance of wind turbines and other energy production with a focus on LCOE, safety and CO2 reduction
    • Balancing the electricity grid along with new system solutions and system-bearing properties that support stable and safe integration and electricity supply from wind energy
    • Cost-effective and environmentally friendly recycling of materials and installations
    • Utilisation of renewable energy systems to reduce natural gas consumption in oil and gas operations
  • Improve energy storage, PTX, CCS and CCU 
    • Development of various forms of short- and long-term storage technologies, e.g. short-term storage of electricity, thermal seasonal storage, long-term storage of gas and high-temperature storage for production of recycled electricity.
    • System optimisation (cost-out) of storage technologies within areas such as production forms, redundancy, choice of materials, operating devices, etc.
    • Electrolysis directly connected to wind energy and integration of electrolysis units close to the energy source, e.g. fast ramp times, high efficiency at high and low loads.
    • Streamlining, scaling and industrialising CCS processes, including recycling energy losses. Regarding PtX facilities, infrastructure for CO2 transport from emissions to CCU or CCS needs to be developed and implemented.
    • Security and standardisation.
  • Improve and recycle energy infrastructure 
    • Digitisation of infrastructure and data-driven management of energy supply and infrastructure, including new energy components with built-in system properties that can support system-balanced needs such as AI, connectivity, machine learning, etc.
    • District-heating technologies of the future, associated infrastructure and electrification, as well as low-temperature solutions and recycling of surplus heating in the system.
    • Gas infrastructure and gas storage of the future which can transport green gases – biogas, biomethane and synthetic gases. Infrastructure development for hydrogen production, transmission, storage and distribution. Additionally, examination of opportunities for gas-to-liquid plants and local biogas infrastructure.
    • Further development of EV infrastructure, e.g. rapid charging infrastructure, local solutions for balancing the electricity grid, new business models of urban charging infrastructure.
    • Infrastructure to neighbouring countries, e.g. energy islands.
  • Increase energy efficiency  
    • Energy efficiency optimisations in the industry, e.g. using microgrids and energy communities, heat pumps and utilisation of surplus heat.
    • Power electronics and efficient energy system management, including streamlining of conversions, e.g. with the help of new materials and components.
    • Reducing and optimising energy consumption in data centres, including solutions for efficient cooling.
    • Intelligent and data-based management systems for indoor climate control in buildings as well as energy renovations, e.g. dynamic and forecast-based temperature control.
    • Standardisation of management input and data communication on different energy consumption units that allow for more integrated systems.
  • Increase electrification and sector coupling 
    • Electrification and deployment of PtX in transport, including heavy transport, land transport, public transport, aviation, etc.
    • Electrification of processes in industry requires the development and demonstration of high-temperature heat pumps, hybrid technology and electric incinerators.
    • Interaction between energy and supply infrastructure and integration between sectors, including electricity, heating (district heating and gas) and water (and wastewater) to ensure cross-sectoral flexibility.
    • Digitisation of processes and increased use of data in the energy sector, including in particular the supply sector’s core processes as well as forecasting, trade, etc.