Denmark poised for multi-gigawatt solar boom in coming decades

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Image credit: hjalmarGD / Flickr

The solar surge expected to hit Europe in the coming decades could extend to one of the continent’s northernmost countries, new official stats indicate.

Traditionally wind-leaning Denmark could be just decades away from a multi-gigawatt-scale boost to nation-wide solar installations, according to the country’s energy agency DEA..

Released on Thursday, new assumptions from the watchdog predict installed Danish PV capacity could soar to 5GW in 2030, up from the 998MW IRENA identified last year.

According to the DEA, a 5GW PV sector by 2030 represents a “feasible project pipeline” for Denmark, given the downwards price pressures set to kick in by then as solar production ramps up.

Post-2030 projections look less certain but assumptions can be made that installed PV capacity could reach the 7.3GW mark by 2040, the agency noted.

Such a capacity jump will inevitably hinder project economics, the DEA said. “The price, when the sun shines, will be pushed so much that the projects are no longer profitable,” it said.

Funding question marks when auctions expire

According to the DEA, the first few years of solar growth will be helped along by Denmark’s solar-specific and technology-neutral auctions, set to contract annual batches all the way to 2030.

With Denmark’s first technology-neutral tender awarding 269MW to wind and solar last December, the country is set to support a further 400MW in PV contracts via auctions this year, the DEA said.

Tenders will then sponsor 400MW of solar per year between 2020 and 2024 – down to 300MW per year in 2025-2030 – but could leave a funding gap when they expire after that point, it added.

Like elsewhere in Europe, solar developers will have the option to deploy projects on a free-market basis or via power purchase agreements (PPAs) with green-minded offtakers, the DEA pointed out.

In Denmark, the talk of PV growth follows the signing in June of the country's first bifacial supply deal, a 57MW arrangement between module maker Risen Energy and Danish developer European Energy for schemes in Thisted and Mors.

The country's upcoming technology-neutral auction will pit PV against wind for 20-year PPAs, with bidding set to start at ceiling prices of DKK0.13/kWh (US$0.019/kWh). 

Contacted by PV Tech this week, a DEA spokesperson confirmed the tender is due to take place and announce results before year-end, although exact dates have not been set. 

The prospects and challenges of European solar's new era will take centre stage at Solar Media's Large Scale Solar Europe 2020, to be held in Lisbon on 31 March and 1 April 2020

Read Next

April 14, 2021
While recent solar auctions in Spain and Portugal have made headlines with low prices and high levels of participation, the power purchase agreement market will be key to helping both countries reach their 2030 solar deployment targets, it was suggested during a panel discussion.
April 13, 2021
Europe’s power networks need to embrace flexibility and whole systems approaches on much larger scales if they are to be capable of accommodating the levels of renewable power necessary to hit 2030 targets.
April 13, 2021
European solar investors are coming to terms with smaller returns, however banks, governments and grid operators could do more to help alleviate risk and ease investor concerns.
April 9, 2021
A draft proposal put forward by China’s National Development and Reform Commission could see subsidies for new solar projects phased out, starting this year.
April 8, 2021
Green hydrogen may become cheaper than natural gas by 2050, falling by 85% over the next 30 years, but declining costs in the solar sector will be crucial for the nascent technology's growth.
PV Tech Premium
April 8, 2021
After a challenging year, India’s solar sector stands primed for something of a rebound. But a host of familiar issues, from the perilous state of DISCOMs to regulatory uncertainty, run the risk of stymying future growth. Vinay Rustagi, managing director at consultancy Bridge to India, talks to PV Tech about the future prospects for Indian solar.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021