Strong potential in Danish-German energy partnership

Date: 2 June 2017

It is relatively easy for Denmark and Germany to apply to the EU directives and plan for more efficient and cost effective energy systems with district heating and cooling and renewable energy, stresses Ramboll’s CEO.

Denmark and Germany are natural partners in energy collaboration. They should collaborate and not compete. That is the main message from Ramboll’s CEO Jens-Peter Saul, speaking at the conference ‘The Future of Energy’ held at  the Confederation of Danish Industries on the occasion of the Danish-German Chamber of Commerce’s Annual meeting in Copenhagen 1 June.

“Denmark and Germany compete to be the leading countries in wind energy. Denmark is known as the wind energy country but Schleswig-Holstein has a larger share of wind energy than Denmark. Instead of competing, it will be a good idea to work side by side in the large, regional market and be stronger together,” Jens-Peter Saul says. He pointed out that Denmark and Germany both have a good record in applying measures that promote and strengthen the green transition. “In leveraging these strengths we can create a leading regional energy hub – like Silicon Valley, but with a focus on energy,” Jens-Peter Saul says.

Decoupling of CO2 from growth
Denmark has succeeded in enabling decarbonisation while securing continued socio-economic growth; so-called decoupling. One of the key explanations of this is moving power generation closer to the cities. This has enabled Denmark to use the waste heat to heat buildings rather than flushing it out in the ocean, thus creating the combined heat and power plants (CHP) and the district heating network which is the back-bone of Copenhagen’s – and much of Denmark’s – energy infrastructure.

Through the power connections to Denmark, Northern Germany has been integrated in this smart energy system and thus in the Nordic energy market, and the rest of Germany will arguably follow.

Benefit the citizens
According to EU directives, all cities should plan for district heating and cooling to integrate CHP and renewable energy where cost effective.

“It is difficult for many countries but Denmark and Germany are natural partners in this development. In both countries it is a trademark that the cities take action and develop the energy infrastructure efficiently to the benefit of the citizens,” Jens-Peter Saul points out: “Together we have a strong regional platform to demonstrate for other EU countries and globally how renewable energy and surplus energy can be integrated and stored in the energy system including district heating and cooling.”

In total, Ramboll employs around 300 wind power engineers – 200 in Denmark and 100 in Germany.