Danish security of electricity supply remains among the best in Europe

Published 18.7.2017 09.46
According to the annual security of electricity supply report just published by Energinet, Danish electricity supply continued to rank among the top European countries in 2016.
Electricity consumers in Denmark had power in the socket 99.996% of the time, equivalent to only 19 minutes of outage on average per consumer in 2016. At the same time, the number of incidents and near-miss incidents involving faults in the electricity system remains at a consistently low level, although the Danish electricity supply is undergoing a significant transition, primarily due to increasing production from renewable energy sources.

New paths to security of supply

A continued high level of security of supply requires an adequate electricity grid and electricity generation capacity and that sudden system disturbances are dealt with swiftly. In the worst case, sudden system disturbances and faults in the electricity grid have the most far-reaching consequences, while a lack of electricity generation will typically affect a limited number of consumers.

The operation of the electricity grid is currently changing, primarily as a result of increasing volumes of renewable electricity generation and more cross-border trading. This means that new initiatives to maintain the high security of supply must be introduced. Energinet is therefore monitoring the situation closely and is carrying out analyses in close cooperation with the sector in Denmark, the Nordic region and Europe.

Maintaining the very high level of security of supply may present a challenge in Eastern Denmark, in particular. The challenge in Eastern Denmark is felt both in the region as a whole and specifically in Copenhagen, where an increase in electricity consumption and the decommissioning of thermal power stations call for a new supply structure. For Eastern Denmark as a whole, the risk of demand outstripping electricity supply is growing in the coming period.

In this context, and in light of the European Commission's recently published sector inquiry on capacity mechanisms, Energinet does not believe that it is possible to overcome the challenge through a strategic reserve as it is expected to be found to be in conflict with EU state aid regulations by the European Commission.

Against this background, it is Energinet's clear assessment that both market and infrastructural cross-border cooperation as well as an even stronger cooperation across the entire national value chain must play an increasingly important role in maintaining the high security of supply going forward. Energinet expects that the Danish security of supply will continue to be among the highest in Europe in the years to come.

Søren Dupont, head of Electricity System Operator in Energinet, says:
In an electricity system with increasing volumes of renewable energy and cross-border trading, the TSOs need to increase their focus on coordinating electricity markets, electricity grids and international connections across borders in order to effectively maintain a high security of supply.

Anders Pallesen Jensen, head of Security of Supply in Energinet, says:
Security of electricity supply remains very high in Denmark. Energinet is proud of this achievement, but we're also aware of the future challenges which must be addressed in order to maintain the high level of security of supply.


Current and future initiatives
  • Supporting the transition of the electricity system through expansions and conversions of the grid
  • Establishing a new supply structure in Copenhagen
  • Ensuring improved operational coordination and maintenance planning of electricity grids and power stations (including cooperation with neighbouring TSOs)
  • Carrying out uniform calculation of cross-border generation adequacy and system security (including under the auspices of the Nordic RSC)
  • Examining the possibilities for increased contributions from flexible consumption to maintain grid balance
  • Developing the future market model based on the energy-only market and the markets for ancillary services.