Advancing green metropolises through district heating

Date: 26 June 2014

Copenhagen and Berlin both share green ambitions as well as the ambitions to share. Now the two capitals advance their green growth cooperation and experiences around the subject of district heating.

Closer cooperation around district heating is a win –win. Denmark holds considerable knowledge about this subject and Germany holds the market potential for it. It opens up opportunities for green business cooperation on both sides of the border and ensures implementation of best-practice experiences in terms of sustainable heating source supply and the district heating grid.

The possibilities for bilateral cooperation was discussed at a meeting yesterday arranged by the Danish Embassy in Berlin and Danfoss, headed by Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen with participation from German politicians, government officers and decision makers from combined heat and power plant (CHP) companies.

At the meeting, Copenhagen’s energy and climate plans were presented with a focus on the role of district heating in the context of carbon neutrality by 2025, and prior to this, Frank Jensen had met with Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit to discuss areas of collaboration between the two cities.

“When we present Copenhagen’s experiences with sustainable solutions, including district heating supply to citizens, the city seeks to pave the way for companies located all across Denmark. I am pleased that we can assist with the creation of growth and jobs,” says Frank Jensen.

CHP plants hold the key
Converting from coal and natural gas to biomass at Danish CHP plants to supply green district heating is an important step in achieving Denmark’s vision of fossil independence by 2050 as well as Copenhagen ambition of carbon neutrality by 2025. Currently the share of renewable sources in the Danish district heating is 52% and the biomass conversion is set to increase this share to 100% by 2035.

Specifically in Copenhagen, a notable example of biomass extension can be found in the heat agreement between DONG Energy and the power supply companies VEKS and Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission company (CTR). The agreement carried a conversion of CHP plant Avedøre Power Station to run entirely on wood pellets: “We strongly wish to offer green district heating to our customers but it is important that it is able to compete with individual heating from oil or natural gas. The new agreement is an important step in the right direction,” said CEO of VEKS Lars Gullev upon entering into the heat agreement.

Another important step in terms of district heating is the construction of the upcoming waste-to-energy Amager Slope, which will replace the existing facility, Amager Resource Centre, that has recovered electricity and heat from waste produced in and around Copenhagen for more than 40 years.

The plant will have an electrical efficiency of around 25% and a total efficiency of a bit more than 100% (based on lower calorific value) as the plant will deliver heat to the integrated district heating system in the Copenhagen Region and be equipped with flue gas condensation. The low return temperature from the efficient building heating systems will via the distribution networks of Copenhagen Energy and CTR condensate the wet fluegas and extract thermal energy, which else would be wasted.

Source: City of Copenhagen / State of Green