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New challenges for our Combined Heat and Power plants (CHP) – require new forms of cooperation!

By Henning Donslund, September 23, 2013

-But where is the central government incentives and where is the national coordination?

Handling 100% wind power is not far out in the future. The challenge is a reality already today, as the municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern has been 100% self-sufficient in electricity from wind turbines since 2011.

CHP plants are moving towards a future where new assignments are waiting:

  • CHP plants must increasingly participate in the market-based balancing of wind turbine production and has to be expanded with new installations, for example electric boilers and heat pumps.
  • District heating now and in the future must be flexible and act as a storage buffer in relation to the many renewable energy sources.

Local CHP plants addressed the challenges of controlling fluctuating electricity from wind turbines, and to ensure energy and economic efficiency.

CHP plants are simulated in scenarios that can streamline the individual plant in relation to combinations of fuels. We have experienced skilled and dedicated support staff on board.

There was agreement on the need to establish a unique partnership, which means that small CHP plants at greatest possible participation in the market-balancing of wind turbine production.

The project has proven that electricity market tenders should be done in coordination and cooperation with other district heating plants.

The project is innovative in creating cooperation between CHP plants within a municipality, so that the project is helping to promote local support for favourable conditions for municipal district heating plants and thus the municipality's strategic energy planning, – Energi2020.

A joint steering committee has been established, to decide whether and how the municipality can finance and develop a plan for the structure in energy supply as an important part of the municipality's strategic energy plan.

National coordination and central government incentives is wanted

Securing the supply and ensuring market-based prices is very important, but grid expansion should not stand alone. Denmark and the individual district heating customers have invested huge sums in CHP plants. The most effective has great value and can through large heat pumps and participation in the balancing market contribute further to the economy. CHP management boards and workers at the CHP plants aims for affordable local district heating prices. They fully understand how to contribute further to flexibility and balancing of the volatile wind turbine production, but is not measured on this.

Central government incentives for CHP plants are necessary, so CHP plants both ensure own consumers cheap district heating and also help to ensure value to heavy wind power energy and thereby ensyre Denmarks overall economy. Municipalities can contribute to dialogue and local strategic energy planning, but there are no additional incentives and visible national coordination.

Consumers and CHP plants have an exciting future ahead.

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