Text and photo: Research Scientist Bjørn Grinden
The reason for this is that the energy intensities [kWh/m2 and kWh/NOK] are reduced. This means that energy consumption is more efficient than previously. This trend has also been observed in other analyses (by Statistics Norway and the International Energy Agency, among others), and can be expected to continue for some time.
In connection with the evaluation of the Energy Act, SINTEF was contracted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to report on the market for heating and the significance this market has for flexibility in energy supplies. The project was done in cooperation with SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, SINTEF Energy Research and SINTEF Technology and Society.
Corresponds to political targets
The analysis of statistic developments reveals that the trends in the energy sector are in general agreement with the stipulated energy policy targets. The growth in energy demand has been reduced and there is an increased contribution from heat pumps, bioenergy (and remote heating) also the demand has been more flexible to prices.
We have calculated developments based on three scenarios for developments in energy demand from now until 2035. Here the consumption of electricity for transport and the energy sectors (for example, pipeline and shore approach facilities for natural gas) after 2012 are not included in the prognoses.
In the basic ¬scenario we consider changes in the new building regulations as well as historical trends. The growth in energy demand is moderate especially for ”prioritized” power that only increases by 4 TWh in 30 years.
In the efficiency scenario, where we assume that new buildings and refurbished buildings are upgraded one energy class higher than in the regulations, the total increase in energy is only 5 TWh and the demand for electricity is reduced by 3 TWh.
In the change scenario, where the focus is on more flexible heating systems rather than energy class upgrading, the total energy demand is somewhat higher than in the basic scenario. The demand for electricity is reduced by 8 TWh in 2035.
In the future it will be a challenge to maintain the same low growth in energy demand that we have observed during the last few years.
Much of the potential for energy savings has already been realized and it can be both more difficult and more expensive to implement further measures in existing buildings and companies. On the other hand, if energy prices increase this may make further measures more profitable.
Scenarios for Electricity Demand 1993-2035 (Priority Power Except Transport and Energy Sectors).
Using the above scenarios, calculations were made for some cases in the electricity production ¬system at Østlandet stadium in 2035. In these calculations we have considered the fundamental effects of increased or reduced demand, in addition to increased production capacity or exchange capacity.
The analysis is based on different criteria for security of supply, where rationing was the most important. It seems that energy efficiency or energy savings are the best ”measures” to increase the security of supply. Power imports from areas such as central Sweden would have little effect as they have about the same chance as drought as south-eastern Norway.
Importance of remote heating
Norsk Fjernvarme asked SINTEF to analyse the consequences for south-eastern Norway if remote heating in Oslo was phased out. Our findings were that this would double the risk of rationing electricity in the area.
We consider that an alternative grid is unlikely to be profitable. One of the reasons is investments must be made in the grid in any case to tackle maximum loads, so that any alternative solutions will only represent an extra investment.