If we are to achieve the objectives, we must integrate systems and link sectors

7. July 2022

“If we are to achieve the objectives, we must integrate systems and link sectors.”

Sten Arendt Stoltze, Senior Vice President, Engineering i Ørsted

? You’ve compared a world powered by renewable energy to ‘a moon landing’. We have been building renewable energy for many years and are good at it. What is it that is markedly different now?

! Wind and solar farms often have greater capacity than conventional power plants, and in the future, they will potentially also be the link between several markets. In other words, renewable energy has become critical infrastructure and the backbone of modern energy systems. This is very good, but it also complicates the expansion: as more and more renewable energy is integrated into the electricity grid, for example, challenges with grid stability can arise.

?  How important is sector coupling to achieve our goals?

! Sector coupling is important. Most of the renewable energy today and in the near future will be provided as electricity. This creates challenges in moving energy between sectors, and there will also be challenges in terms of storing energy in an appropriate form to match supply and demand.

? What innovation need do you see in sector coupling, and what is most important right now?

! Most important now in sector coupling is the time aspect. How do we make up the differences between supply and demand; partly by postponing demand until there is supply, and partly by storage.

? Ørsted is a global player. What expectations do you have that it will be Denmark that breaks the sector coupling code? And why do we have good opportunities to do so?

!  Denmark has good opportunities to crack the code or at least help crack the code. There are many initiatives underway in Denmark in different areas, energy islands (economies of scale), Power-to-X, etc. With further political will, things could go even stronger.

?  Do you see integrated, renewable energy systems as a wilder growth journey than ‘just’ producing renewable energy?

!  Yes. We are now quite keen on producing renewable energy, but if we are to achieve the targets, it is incredibly important that we integrate systems and connect sectors. Otherwise, we won’t get there!