A Danish university professor says that complete energy independence from fossil fuels is possible but Denmark needs to integrate smart energy systems to ensure combined heat and power potential can make it a reality.

Aalborg University’s Professor Henrik Lund says a system based 100 per cent renewable energy is a viable option and could be realized in Denmark by 2050. Speaking at the 21st International Congress of Chemical and Process Engineering, he added that Denmark’s example can serve as a model for other countries

That potential outcome is dependent on how Denmark manages its strong CHP portfolio. 50 per cent of the country’s power production is related to combined heat and power (CHP) plants, with 30 per cent from wind power.
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It is expected wind power sill supply 50 per cent of Denmark’s energy by 2050 and the concern is that as more reliance is placed on wind, power from CHP plants might go to waste.

Professor Lund proposed a smart energy system that calls for flexible energy conversion and storage technologies to be incorporated. CHP plants could be provided with heat pumps and additional storage capacity to store additional energy on windy days.

Lund told the gathering that he envisions using renewable energy for transportation with electric cars supplemented by biomass or to manufacture syngas by hydrogenating the carbon produced from the CHP plants.