District heating opens up new export doors

Date: 20 October 2015

Excerpt from Danish newspaper JP October 13:
Eight companies have joined together to open the door to the US market for district heating. The district heating industry foresees a triple of exports worth 15 billion DKK by 2020. A stir in the industry has been evoked sinse ABB and Logstor got a hole through to the important US market through a deal for the city of Bridgeport, situated 100 km. northwest of New York.

There is great demand for the Danish district heating model abroad.
For years, companies such as ABB, Logstor, Ramboll, Danfoss, Grundfos and Desmi have been exporting their products for district heating solutions, but now the industry has a new sales weapon to use: system exports.
Eight companies have gone together to supply a district heating system for the North American city of Bridgeport, which is located 100 kilometers northwest of New York.

The Bridgeport agreement
The order has a total value of 150 million DKK. The district heating industry already has a goal to triple sales of district heating pipes, thermostats, boilers, pumping and consultance to 15 billion DKK by 2020.
Therefore, it is not Bridgeport’s order size that is creating a stir in the district heating industry. Rather, it is the fact that the order opens new doors.

“Many people would like to buy a ready solution. Especially in countries where district heating is still in its infancy,” says Morten Jordt Duedahl from DBDH.

Historically, the district heating industry has sold its products primarily to the Nordic countries, China and Central Eastern Europe and Russia, where district heating is a well-known solution. The situation is different in countries like England, France, Holland, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States, where the idea of ​​cheap heat produced from central level to be circulated as hot water for large district heating pipes is still seen as an untypical solution.

But the fight against global warming is beginning to change that.
In the EU, especially the growing climate requirements and the EU energy efficiency directive are paving the way for a greater focus on Danish district heating in the countries around us. The potential for the sale of district heating solutions is enormous just a few meters outside Denmark’s doorstep, illustrated by the fact that 64 percent of all Danish households are connected to district heating, while the corresponding figure for example in Britain is just 2 percent.

“So the stage is set for massive growth when things are taking off. Just going from a penetration rate of 2 percent to 3 percent in the UK is really something that batters. So we are very positive about the development”, says Morten Jordt Duedahl.

Green heating
While the fight against climate changes and the growing demand for CO2 savings is the carrot in the 28 EU countries, on the other side of the Atlantic district heating is lifted by the prospect of financial gains by coupling the production of heat and power instead of just sending the surplus heat from power production out of the chimney.

The district heating industry believes the sale of “package solutions” will lift district heating exports. Therefore, no one hesitates to call Bridgeport contract for a genuine breakthrough.

The Bridgeport agreement implies that the companies will supply a ready-to-run district heating system within the heating season 2016.

As part of the green energy Plan Clean Power Plan, which President Obama launched, the expectation is that the spread of district heating in the US will grow by 33 percent towards 2020.