Since the early 1970s, researchers at Aalborg University have taken a strong interest in Danish energy planning. They have regularly been involved in the design and implementation of Danish energy policy at both local and national levels. The members of the Sustainable Energy Planning Group have helped formulate strategies for the national development of energy conservation, renewable energy sources and CHP from their very inception.
A database and a methodology for the analysis of employment and balance of payment consequences of different energy investments have been established. Researchers have been active in the development of various computer programmes tailor-made for the design and analyses of energy systems and energy plants. The integration of energy policy analyses, institutional analyses and technical energy systems analyses is the quintessence of the Sustainable Energy Planning research group.
Look for information concerning published articles, PhD theses and books and research reports at publications.
Energy System Analysis Modeling Tools
The staff of the Sustainable Energy Planning Group has developed many customized modelling tools for planning, analysis, and optimization of energy systems. Several of these tools have also been spun off into successful commercial ventures. Even though some models are now being used commercially, all models are available for students at Aalborg University. Detailed descriptions of these tools can be found below.
energyPRO is an advanced computer tool for the design and operation of CHP plants. It has been used in the project design of almost all small CHP plants in Denmark. The programme is now also available in six other languages. The initial version of energyPRO was developed by Henrik Lund in the late 1980s. Shortly thereafter, the programme was refined and commercially distributed by the software company Energy and Environmental Data (EMD). energyPRO is continuously being updated, most recently in two research projects conducted by EMD and the Energy Planning Research Group. For further information check www.emd.dk.
energyPRO GRID is a load flow computer model for analysis and design of transmission grids. Based on a description of the transmission grid, transmission lines and transformers, and a description of the geographic distribution of power production and consumption, energyPRO GRID determines line currents and node voltages throughout the transmission grid. Thereby, the model determines the compatibility between transmission grid strength, energy system design, and energy system regulation strategies. energyPRO GRID was initially developed at Aalborg University and has subsequently undergone further development by Energy and Environmental Data, mainly through joint research projects with Aalborg University e.g MOSAIK and Local Energy Markets.
energyPLAN is a computer tool for energy system analysis of large-scale integration of renewable energy at the national or regional level. The model emphasises an advanced analysis of different potential regulation strategies. The software was originally developed by Henrik Lund in the late 1990s. Since then, the model has advanced in collaboration between Aalborg University, PlanEnergi consultancy and the software company Energy and Environmental Data (EMD). The model has been used in various research projects and in the work of an expert group conducted by the Danish energy agency.
energy BALANCE is a simple computer tool implemented in an Excel spreadsheet. The model makes it possible to convert traditional national energy statistics into a simple energy system analysis model, for analyzing potential improvements in energy efficiency. The model was developed by Henrik Lund in the mid 1990s and has been used for various educational purposes. It is now publicly available from the Danish Organisation of Renewable Energy as a tool for local energy planning. For further information and on-line modelling, see the Energy Planning Tool web-site. An advanced version of the model is also being used commercially by the consultancy company PlanEnergi.
Geographical information systems (GIS) offer a wide range of tools for the assessment and analysis of spatial, or geographical, problems within sustainable energy planning. In a common spatial reference, GIS combine geographical data on the environment with analytical capabilities and visualisation techniques in a computer hardware and software workspace. The principle of overlaying geographical information from several aspects and disciplines within environmental sciences is the strength of GIS. So far GIS have been used to map the cost distribution of wind power, costs of transport for biomass fuels, planning issues of district heating systems, and the interaction between renewable energy sources and the transmission grid.