Roles of local and national energy systems in the integration of renewable energy

Jakob Zinck Thellufsen*, Henrik Lund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


In the transition to renewable energy systems, national plans are being created for several countries around the world. Concurrently, regions, municipalities and cities are planning for CO2 neutral and renewable energy systems. Both developments are necessary, which raises the question whether these two types of energy planning are coordinated. How should national plans specify local actions, and how should local plans take into account the surrounding development of the energy system? Most local plans rely on the surrounding energy systems as they need to integrate with the energy system to export excess production or import during demands with insufficient capacity. This paper suggests a methodology to analyse how well these local plans integrate with the surrounding national energy system. The methodology is applied to the two Danish examples of Copenhagen and Sønderborg. Both examples connect to the Danish 2030 scenario defined in the Coherent Energy and Environmental System Analysis study. Based on the results the study concludes that the suggested methodology is applicable for evaluating how well local and national energy systems integrate, and can potentially be used in bettering energy planning to include the benefits of local action and national coordination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Energy
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Energy system analysis
  • EnergyPLAN
  • Local energy systems
  • National energy system
  • Renewable energy
  • Renewable energy integration


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