An experiment with 800 households on Bornholm shows how consumers’ energy consumption can be remotely controlled for the benefit of the green transformation.
Since 2012, 800 households on Bornholm have given the EcoGrid 2.0 project access to their heat pumps and electric panel heaters. The experiment will provide part of the answer to how Denmark will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.
A climate-friendly future requires massive amounts of renewable energy converted into electricity for cars and heating. This puts new demands on the Danes’ energy consumption, which must follow the fluctuating production of green electricity.
“The prerequisites for green energy consumption is investment in the electricity grid and smart consumption management. The Bornholm experiment shows how we can squeeze more renewable energy through the electricity grid and manage consumption in relation to green electricity production. The experience gathered and the tools used during the project may serve as the basis for knowledge sharing with the rest of the country,” says Jacob Østergaard, Professor and Head of Centre at DTU Electrical Engineering.
Group CEO of Bornholms Energi & Forsyning, Rasmus Sielemann Christensen, looks forward to seeing the experience gathered from the project benefitting the green transformation in the rest of Denmark:
“Bornholm is the right place to carry out demonstration projects that can lead the way towards structuring the energy system of the future as intelligently as possible. In future projects, we should consider and examine how changes in the regulatory framework can assist the development towards supporting flexibility in consumption. Here too, Bornholm is ideal—and we’re ready,” he says.
Consumers can contribute
The heat pumps and electric panel heaters in the 800 households have been provided with control boxes and sensors that make it possible to remotely control the heating and push electricity consumption over time within the limits of comfort defined by each household.
The consumers’ electricity consumption is shifted from when the energy is most expensive to when it is cheapest. The consumers can furthermore choose to shift their consumption to when the electricity is greenest. This has reduced the households’ electricity consumption by at least 30 per cent during the winter season in periods when the electricity grid is under the most pressure.
“Consumers want to be green, but many do not know exactly how to achieve this. With EcoGrid, we have shown how consumers can easily do something good for the climate without sacrificing their comfort. They can help integrate more green energy into the energy system and make it cheaper to operate,” says Jørgen S. Christensen, CTO of Dansk Energi.