Brief notes on electricity supply in Denmark  

By Troels Werner Christensen, 22. August 2008

In 2005 total electricity consumption was 33,604,000,000 kWh (33,604 GWh). This corresponds to an average consumption per Danish resident of 6,400 kWh. The corresponding figures for Norway are: 23,490 kWh, Sweden: 15,240 kWh, Finland: 15,540 kWh, France: 6,440 kWh, Netherlands: 6,220 kWh, Germany: 6,090 kWh and UK: 5,640 kWh.

Around one third of power is used in homes. Almost the same amount is used in industry, and the rest is divided between agriculture and horticulture, trade & services and the public sector.

Production

Danish electricity is produced by 15 centralised power stations, 606 decentralised combined heat and power stations, 5,340 wind turbines, 174 industrial stations (power or CHP stations in industrial concerns – also called commercial stations) and 39 small water-powered stations.

Trading

On top of this there is extensive trading with other countries. In 2005, Denmark was a net importer of electricity, whereas we exported power in 2004. The relationship between imports and exports is decided by supply and demand and thus the price on the electricity market. An important factor in this calculation is how much precipitation has fallen in Norway and Sweden and thus how much water is available for the hydroelectric power stations.

Combined heat and power

Denmark has a very large combined electricity and heating production - combined heat and power - both from the centralised CHP stations in or near the large towns and the decentralised CP stations in medium-sized and smaller towns. In all, 1.5 million households in Denmark are heated by district heating, corresponding to 60 % of all households. And CHP stations cover around 75% of total district heating supply. Combined electricity and power production can save around 30% fuel compared to their production separately.

Wind power

In 2005 wind power covered over 19% of total Danish electricity consumption. This is the highest proportion in any country in the world.

Transmission grid

Electricity is carried from producers or foreign connections to consumers by a transmission grid of 169,144 km in total. The major part is underground cables, while 30,389 km are aerial lines, a number which reduces year by year.

Electricity system

Denmark has two main electricity systems, situated east and west of the Great Belt, and not yet interconnected. However, the decision has been taken to establish an electrical connection beneath the Great Belt. Both the main grids are managed by Energinet.dk, the so-called system-coordinating company, with overall responsibility for ensuring balance at all times between electrical supply and demand.

Facts

FaktaDenmark has 3,127,000 electricity customers, who since 1 January 2003 have had a free choice of suppliers.

Contact

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  • Economist, M.Sc. (Economics)
  • Henrik Hornum
  • T: +45 35 300 434
  • M: +45 22 750 434
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  • B.Com.
  • Lisbeth Petersson
  • T: +45 35 300 431