Solar power could provide substantially more Danish electricity – The Post

Solar power could provide substantially more Danish electricity

Here comes the sun – and with a bit of planning, it is a resource that can be utilised even more effectively

DTU would like to see the solar panel area on fields expanded to half the size of Langeland (photo: Gunnar Bach Pedersen)
August 10th, 2018 11:49 am| by Stephen Gadd

Despite record amounts of sunshine and record sales of solar panels this year, solar power only contributes around 2 percent of electricity to the Danish national grid.

READ ALSO: Denmark home to the world’s largest solar plant – again

According to experts at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), this amount could be increased to 70 percent, reports DR Nyheder.

“In June and July there has been 20 percent more sunshine in Denmark compared to last year,” said Sune Thorsteinsson, a special consultant at DTU Fotonik.

“We’re just not utilising the full potential of the sun’s rays,” he added.

Half the size of Langeland
The researchers have calculated that if the roofs of private houses, industrial buildings and fields were fully utilised, it could cover 70 percent of Denmark’s annual electricity production.

The area of the fields would be around half that of the area of Langeland, and half of all south-facing roofs should be covered with solar panels, suggests Thorsteinsson.

“I believe that we ought to include solar panels on all new buildings because nowadays they are so cheap to install. You can even use solar panels as cladding for buildings for the same price per square metre as ordinary building material,” added Thorsteinsson.

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A bumper year
May was the best-ever month for electricity production from solar panels, with 166 GWh. Generally speaking, 2018 has been a very good year so far, with 675 GWh up to and including July, which is a marked increase from 2017, which totalled 529 GWh.

“The advantage of solar panels is that they more or less produce power without you having to lift a finger once the system is installed,” said Thorsteinsson.

Where does our power come from?

Wind: 40 percent
Coal: 17 percent
Biofuel: 13 percent
Water: 12 percent
Natural gas: 7 percent
Rubbish: 4 percent
Atomic power: 3 percent
The Sun: 2 percent
Oil: 1 percent

Source: Energinet