By Glenda Napier, CEO, Energy Cluster Denmark
This is the title of Energy Cluster Denmark’s Annual Meeting 2022, where on 5 May we will focus on how different sectors now and in the future will increasingly talk to each other through so-called sector coupling. Let’s take a look at that term.
A coupling, as you know, has the function of assembling parts that otherwise do not belong together. In the same way, it applies to the traditional sectors, which now and in the future become each other’s prerequisites.
Transport, construction, the electricity sector, the heating sector, the gas sector, and other sectors will blend across each other in the future; especially because of the increasing amount of renewable energy we will consume in the future. Green energy is absolutely necessary if we are to achieve the CO2 reduction targets, we have set for 2030 and 2050. And when the need for solar and wind increases, we also increase the need to store and refine the green power so that we have it when the wind is gone and when the sun is not shining.
Sector coupling is, for example, the utilization of surplus heat from data centers, the local industry as a resource in the local district heating, biowaste from agriculture and households that are converted into biogas, electrification of the light road transport, charging the batteries for the heavy and aircraft across the Atlantic powered by green fuels.
Let’s look at some examples of sector coupling:
Quite simply, it can be said that by connecting different sectors in Denmark, we can accelerate or postpone our consumption of energy. When it comes to transport, parts of it can be electrified directly, for example through electric cars in light passenger transport.
As for the heavier transport, it’s a different talk. That’s because these modes of transport are too heavy to use batteries. Here we will transform and refine the renewable and green power from, for example, wind turbines through Power-to-X technologies into green fuels that can be used as propellants in, for example, trucks, ships, and aircraft.
Moreover, there is the digitization.
Drones, digital twins, sensors, artificial intelligence and much more already play a major role in various sectors.
In the future, the energy and utilities sectors will be connected, as will the energy system and customers – especially through smart digitalisation. Digital solutions can reduce energy consumption across sectors and will, for example through the exchange of data, make it easier to create a green transition.
If you want to know more about sector coupling and the technological development within sector coupling, please register for Energy Cluster Denmark’s Annual Meeting 2022 in Randers. On 5 May 2022, we will focus on a number of aspects of sector coupling – see more about www.energycluster.dk