Interview with Catarina Naucler, Nordic Smart Grid Development Lead, Fortum Distribution AB, Sweden
Do you think that a 45% renewable energy share target for 2030 is feasible and if so, how does the energy industry need to prepare for this?
In Sweden, more than 55% of the power production already comes from renewable energy resources, mainly hydro power. Fortum continues to increase the level of renewable as part of our vision of the solar economy and strategy. Fortum sees a future functioning market-based solution for CO2 as a driver for more renewable energy.
What are the industry’s biggest challenges related to renewable energy integration and what needs to be done to overcome them?
The main challenge for the industry – related to renewable energy integration – is to have a holistic view of the transformation of the energy system. Investments will be needed in the whole system and subsidies in one part of the system will drive even more investments in another part. It is a challenge to fund all the needed investments, and a holistic view among decision makers and industry is the key.
Will we need to keep conventional power plants as backup in periods with almost no renewable electricity generation?
To secure the competitiveness for the electricity intensive industry, a stable and long term supply of energy is needed, and base load will still be needed in the system. In Scandinavia hydro power is the core base load.
What role do you foresee energy storage to play in the near future?
Even if we will have a common European energy market, the grids are still local. The future energy system will have different challenges in different parts of the system, and solutions can differ. Furthermore, there are several roles for storage. In the short term, I think we in the Nordics need to use what we already have to minimize the investments. In Sweden we can use hydro to store, but we could also start to combine the electricity system with the district heating/cooling system and increase the flexibility in the whole energy system.
Hear Catarina Naucler's presentation: Fortum Distribution’s view on future energy outlook, renewable grid integration and energy storage, taking place at European Utility Week 2013 on Wednesday October 16 at 09.00 - 09.20.