The title of the annual meeting was “Links Between Sectors: When a unified energy sector sets a green technological course,” referencing not only co-operation between the energy sector and others, such as the transport sector, but also breaking down silos within the energy sector on the way to the interconnected energy system of the future.
At the annual meeting, around 300 participants from across the spectrum of the Danish energy sector gathered to discuss such topics as whether existing energy technology solutions are sufficient to achieve Denmark’s climate targets for 2030.
In three intense hours, 20 experts gave their views on some of the technologies, solutions and innovation projects at the heart of the green transformation. Against this backdrop, we asked a number of the biggest energy companies whether it is technologically realistic for us to reach the targets set for 2030.
The message from a united energy sector was unequivocal: We will deliver.
“Technology is not what will limit us. We can deliver it,” said Bo Svoldgaard, senior vice president for innovation and concepts at Vestas, adding: “But there has to be a business — someone who will buy what we produce.”
There was broad support for this message. Ole Hansen, head of business development and joint venture management at Total Denmark, agreed, adding that “demand is what should drive us.” Total itself has begun the transformation towards renewable energy and is investing massively in green energy.
Technological innovation and collaboration across silos and sectors is essential. In the words of Ulrik Stridbæk, vice president and head of regulatory affairs at Ørsted: “Those who will be most critical to reaching the 2030 goal are those who are not with us today. Namely, those who will be using the energy we produce. We need to make sure we get the next big energy consumers on board. It’s the ones we won’t reach simply by producing electricity you can get out of your wall.” Niels-Arne Baden, senior vice president of Green Hydrogen Systems, also called for both pacing and buyers to achieve the goal of the green transformation.
The annual meeting makes it clear that we must now demonstrate and scale up to achieve the goal of the green transformation.
Another important point was that there are many existing technologies that will contribute to reaching the 2030 target.
Biogas company Nature Energy and its director, Ole Hvelplund, pointed out that internal co-operation in the energy sector is necessary and crucial, as is a link to consumers: “We need to make use of more technologies, and we need to avoid technological fundamentalism. There are many real solutions to get there, and there are many opportunities. If we can build links to other sectors with an open mind, we’ll get it done,” he said.
Lars Bonderup Bjørn, CEO of EWII, highlighted the great potential of using the district heating network to achieve the necessary flexibility that the energy system of the future depends on.
The annual meeting’s conclusion was clear: Links between sectors are at the heart of the green society of the future, which all countries, companies and citizens will interact with. The energy sector is key to this, and it’s probably the most exciting and innovative sector in Denmark today.
The meeting’s key take-away is that a historic transition is currently taking place in Denmark, and we must work together to bring it to a successful conclusion. Only one thing is certain: Continued collaboration across the entire energy cluster on technological innovation will be a key part of the answer.
Energy Cluster Denmark has entered into a strategic collaboration with Marlog, the cluster organisation for transportation and logistics, to develop innovative activities across the energy and transport sectors. Read the full article here.