The most efficient use of energy is when energy can flow freely across borders by means of well-functioning energy grids. Consequently, the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate focuses on an efficient infrastructure together with the other Nordic countries and at EU level.
Whether we are talking about production of electricity, gas or heat, energy is still often produced at a place different from the place of consumption. Thus, Denmark is interconnected by a grid of cables and wires that transports energy from the production site to the consumption site in the same way as our road network brings us across the country. Just as Denmark is connected to its neighbouring countries by roads, bridges and ferries, also the electricity and gas infrastructure across our borders.
Relationship to other countries is important for the adaptation of renewable energy
Denmark is closely connected to its neighbouring countries and electricity is traded in all directions all the time, which in practice means that the electricity in our sockets also comes from Norwegian water power, Swedish atomic-power and German solar power. We can import and export what corresponds to up to 80 % of our maximum electricity consumption. The connections are of vital importance to Denmark. They ensure a cost-efficient usage of production capacity in Denmark and abroad by means of electricity markets. And they reduce costs relating to ensuring sufficient supply of electricity to Danish electricity consumers.
Bottlenecks can prevent the free flow of energy
Limitations in the electricity network, the so-called bottlenecks, may hinder transportation of electricity in the grid. The Danish electricity grid is well-developed and in Denmark we only seldom face problems of internal bottlenecks. Not all countries have developed their internal energy infrastructure to the same degree. This may cause bottleneck problems that block cross-border trade and prevent a free energy flow. There are, for example, cases relating to the electrical connection between Jutland and Germany, where 12-13 on an average of the real capacity in 2016 could be used in a southward direction. This affects the electricity producers' access to selling electricity in Germany. There are no similar restrictions on the connection going north and therefore no limitations as to the import of electricity to Denmark.
Watch Denmark's actual export and import of electricity on the front page of Energinet's website
The electrical power grid shall also handle increased consumption of electricity
The development of the electrical power grid must meet the development in Denmark. Consequently, the capacity of the electrical power grid must be able to adapt to a regional increase. An increasing electricity consumption may be due to the establishing of electricity consuming companies such as e.g. data centres, or because of population growth.