China’s National Energy Administration visit Denmark to learn about thermal power plant flexibility

Date: 26/02/2016

Yesterday, a Chinese high level energy officials visited Denmark and the Danish Energy Agency. Denmark has decades of hands on experience in integrating renewables in the energy system, experience that can be of crucial interest to Chinese plans to boost their own green transition.

Denmark’s thermal power plant sector is one of the most flexible in the world. This is crucial when integrating very high shares of dynamic renewable energy sources like wind power. Last year 42% of Danish power consumption was produced by wind power and the flexibility of the thermal power plants was a significant factor in the successful integration of wind power in the energy system.

China is the world largest energy consumer and largest emitter of CO2 emissions as well as the world largest market for renewable energy.  The recent and expected future rapid increase of renewable energy in China poses large integration challenges and led to a loss of 15 % of all wind production in China last year. This is why Danish knowledge and expertise with thermal power plant flexibility is of significant interest to China’s National Energy Administration.

On the 25th-27th of January the Danish Minister of the Energy, Utilities and Climate ministry, Lars Christian Lilleholt, was in China to follow up on the global climate agreement from COP21 in Paris. During his visit he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thermal Power Flexibility partnership together with Deputy Administrator Mr. Zheng Shanjie from China’s National Energy Administration. The Memorandum of Understanding focuses on how increased thermal power plant flexibility can assist China in integrating increasing shares of renewable energy by reducing production on their thermal power plants.

Now Mr. Zheng Shanjie, along with a large delegation, is visiting Denmark to do a prompt follow up on the signed Memorandum of Understanding.

Among the delegation are prominent guests from NEA, Chinese research institutes, hardware manufactures and thermal power producers.  The delegation will learn more about thermal power production flexibility as well as fuel flexibility. The widespread use of heat storage tanks in Denmark as a mean to decouple power and heat production on combined heat and power plants (CHP) is of high interest just as use of biomass as a supplementary fuel is. The delegation will also be introduced to Denmark’s use of energy policies to steer the future development of the energy market.

General Director of the Danish Energy Agency, Morten Bæk, will welcome Mr. Zheng Shanjie and the delegation and initiate the two very intense days of the study tour. On the first day several meetings will be held at the DEA offices, where special guests from the Danish TSO,, as well as the Danish Energy Association will give presentations on the Danish energy system with focus on the green transition and particularly how the role and function of the thermal power plant sector has changed over time.

On the second day of the visit the Danish Energy Industries Federation will host a seminar with the participation of several Danish companies with expertise and capabilities within thermal power plant flexibility. This offers a unique opportunity for the Danish companies to present themselves and engage in dialogue with the delegates from China. In the afternoon the Chinese delegation will meet with Thomas Egebo, who is Permanent Secretary of State at the Ministry of Energy, Utility and Climate.  At the meeting Thomas Egebo and Zheng Shanjie will follow up on the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding and discuss how Denmark and China can make the most of the joint cooperation on thermal power flexibility. The delegation ends their study tour with a site visit on the Avedøre power plant, which shines as a great example of production and fuel flexibility in Denmark.

Source: The Danish Energy Agency