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IMAGINE... an energy road map for the Funen island (DK)

9 municipalities (including Odense), the University of Southern Denmark and a number of utilities on the island of Funen (500,000 inhabitants, see map below) are working together to develop a common strategic energy plan. The target is to ensure that Funen will be at the forefront of the national energy policy.

The national energy policy aims at a 100%-renewable energy consumption by 2050, using energy sources such as wind, sun and biogas. Electricity and heat supply must be fossil-free by 2035. A large majority in Parliament signed an energy agreement: the ’Energy Agreement of 22 March 2013’. It sets the national policy framework of the energy sector development until the year 2020. This energy agreement focuses on, among others, securing the future of the Danish society by generating green growth.

SEP Fyn (Strategic Energy Planning Funen) will be used as a tool which shows the most secure path for future decision-making and investments made by municipalities and utilities. With ’secure path’ we mean beeing able to make decisions and investments in relation to the national energy framwork while keeping a vivid local economy for businesses and citizens.

The main targets of SEP Fyn

The Funen project aims at exploring the conditions and options to find the best possible way to integrate renewable energy in the energy supply and in the transport sector.

"There are many different interests to take into account when working with energy planning. The ambitions are high, but the goal is to unite the many interests around a common focus on the solutions for the future. This has to be done in ways that benefit both businesses and citizens in the Funen region”, says Christian Tønnesen, Project manager and Head of the Culture and Urban Planning department in the Municipality of Faaborg-Midtfyn.

At the same time, he points out the great potential for green jobs if the transition is managed properly. "This way Funen can show the way to good solutions/best practice which apply to both local and global markets, and this is something we need on Funen."

“If we, among the energy stakeholders on Funen, can create a clear common view of challenges and possible solutions through joint planning, there is hope that we put enough efforts and get focus on the best solutions”, emphasizes Christian Tønnesen.

The future energy solutions

AS regards the argricultural sector on Funen, biomass should be optimally used in the coming decades in order to provide stable sales. Therefore, because of the rural structure of the island, one of the major solutions will be biomass gasification.

“We have to develop solutions which ensure that the soil’s natural fertility is preserved in the long run. The production of biogas should therefore have a prominent role in the future. But this also has to be explored in our common energy strategy” says Christian Tønnesen, who welcomes the engagement of the argricultural sector in the energy planning process.

Another big issue in the transition is the necessity to create a more flexible energy system. “Today we have a flexible energy production due to our use of fossil fuels. In the future, we will need to be able to use the energy from the wind and sun when it is there - as it can’t be stored in the same way as fossil fuels. This change in flexibility create new demand on utilities and consumers” says Tønnesen, and that is why he is also happy with the engagement of all the utilities and research partners.

Further information:

Contributors: Anders Johan Møller-Lund, Faaborg-Midtfyn Municipality & the City of Odense

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