Flexible Power Use in the Skåne Region

Author: Mats Larsson

Skåne in southern Sweden is one of the regions in Sweden where the capacity of the electric grid to distribute power and the effect of power generation in the region are approaching their limits. At peak load hours, during the coldest days in the winter a few years ahead, the demand for electricity may exceed capacity, resulting in a situation when supplies to some users may have to be temporarily shut down. In order to avoid this from happening and start to develop solutions ahead of time Region Skåne and other key players develop solutions that will create more flexible use of electricity.

In the winter and spring of 2020 Region Skåne, together with IUC Syd and Sustainable Business Hub analysed the potential of flexible power use among industrial customers and family homes . Is there a potential for flexibility among companies to close down sections of their production resources during peak-load hours and can households in one-family houses switch off their heat pumps at hours when the load is at its peak?

The result was that there is a potential that can be realised, but the situation varies between grids depending on the number of households with heat pumps and the number of companies with sections of their production that can be shut down. In some areas a large company with power intensive production can allow the grid owner to shut down a section, and in some areas the necessary flexibility needs to be delivered by households that allows the grid operator to close down their heat pumps. The challenge is not primarily technical, it is a matter of developing business models and getting companies and households to sign up for the collaboration.