Roadmap to 2050 – A recommended future Danish energy system and guidelines for policy changes


Jannick H. Buhl, Asbjørn Z. Hegelund and Mikkel B. Simonsen

Master Thesis – Energy Technology - 2017

Denmark is committed to the fight against climate change on both national and international levels. The country has a long-term target of becoming a low emission society by 2050, also defined as a highly resource efficient society. We argue in this report that there is an urgent need for policy-makers to decide on a common strategy for the future energy system development in both the short- and long-term.

In this report, we use a partial equilibrium energy system model called TIMES-DK to investigate the expected development of the Danish energy system under a Frozen Policy scenario, i.e. with no changes to the existing regulatory framework. Based on this analysis, we estimate that the energy system will remain responsible for around 15 million ton of CO2 emissions per year in 2050, thereby not achieving the 2050 target. This emission level corresponds to a reduction of 72 % compared to 1990 level.

We proceed to construct a recommended energy system for 2050 using TIMES-DK, which is in compliance with the 2050 target. This is called the R2050 scenario. We recommend an energy system characterized by a large degree of electrification across all sectors, where especially electric heat pumps and hybrid plug-in vehicles play a key role. Electricity should be produced from intermittent renewable energy sources, district- and residential heating should be produced by heat pumps and solar heating, and the transport- and industry sectors should use biofuels and electricity.
Lastly, we provide recommendations for policy changes, which can guide Denmark in the direction of the R2050 scenario, and hence a full compliance with the 2050 target. We identify 8 changes, which combined is expected to increase the capacity of offshore wind, increase domestic production of biofuels, transition the heating sector towards electric heat pumps and excess heat, and convert the entire transport sector to electricity and biofuels.

Collaboration partners
Energy Systems Analysis Group at DTU Management Engineering

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