Data centres and the need for renewable energy

Balmorel: Power system model | September 2018 - April 2019

A number of data centres are planned or are under construction in Denmark, and the Danish Energy Agency expects them to have an electricity usage corresponding to about 17% of the national electricity usage in 2030. The Danish parliament passed an energy deal in 2018 which shows the way to reach a share of renewable energy of about 55% in 2030. The expected electricity usage of the data centres influences how big a need for expansion with renewable energy there is, in order for the 55% goal to be met.

Based on this, Ea Energy Analyses assisted the Danish Council on Climate Change (Klimarådet) in an analysis of large data centres in Denmark, and how their electricity usage will influence the goal of at least 55% renewable energy in Denmark in 2030. Ea concluded that there will be a need for greater expansion of offshore wind parks to reach the goal.

The analyses were carried out with the market model Balmorel, which can optimise operations and investments in the electricity and district heating sector under various conditions. Furthermore, the consequences for the security of supply were analysed with the SISYFOS model, which was developed by the Danish Energy Agency and Ea Energy Analyses.

The analysis and background report (in Danish) can be found on the website of the Danish Council on Climate Change.

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