An account of the annual supply and demand of energy
The Samso municipality and the Energy Academy have recorded an energy balance for the Samso island since 1997. It was instrumental to become Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island where the goal was 100% renewable energy. The energy balance uncovers the energy consumption of a municipality. It informs about the energy demand, the sources, and whether the energy is renewable. It is an essential tool for a transition to renewable energy. A plan for such a transition may contain various actions, such as a campaign for energy savings, installation of new wind turbines, and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy.
The energy balance is updated every other year, therefore the municipality and the region can follow the effect of the various actions. For example, in the year 2015 the share of renewable energy in the Central Denmark Region was 36%, while the 19 member municipalites varied between 20% and 80%.
The Central Denmark Region coordinates actions across the 19 member municipalities. The aggregated energy balance for the region shows that the share of renewable energy is increasing. A linear forecast indicates that the 50% goal for the year 2050 will be just met. All member municipalities construct their energy balance according to an agreed template of energy measurements, therefore the region can aggregate the numbers. Even the national energy balance applies the same principles. Most of these principles also comply with the EUpractices for making its energy balance
The starting point is a template such as the Transplan spreadsheet (ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/projects/en/projects/transplan). The data collection must be performed by a skilled person or engineering company. The spreadsheet is an input-output (supply-demand) model.
Evidence of success
The 19 municipalities of Central Denmark Region have adopted the practice, and the region now builds its strategic planning upon the aggregated energy balance.
It is difficult to collect accurate data, and some data must be estimated. Others can be found in official statistics, and generally many data sources must be consulted.
Potential for learning or transfer
Other municipalities work with an energy balance, for example the Madeira islands, Portugal. In fact, 56 island sustainable action plans were submitted under the SMILEGOV project, which concerned governance of islands.
The energy balance is useful as a planning tool and for monitoring. Potentially, all municipalities in the EU could make their own energy balance, and these could be aggregated into a common EU energy balance. However, this would require that all use the same energy categories and definitions.
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