Home Uncategorized Aarhus and Copenhagen – energy efficiency landmarks for Europe

Aarhus and Copenhagen – energy efficiency landmarks for Europe

by dbdh

Blog by Anders Dyrelund

The EU directives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy request all regional and local authorities to integrate district heating and cooling into the urban planning. Moreover the Energy Efficiency directives request that new power capacity should be located neat market, which can utilize the surplus heat and reduce cooling losses.
This is a challenging “hen and egg problem”. You cannot use the surplus heat and RES without district heating and it is difficult to develop the capital intensive district heating infrastructure without the cheap efficient heat production from power plants.
We have solved this problem in Denmark. There are many good cases to study in Denmark, which proves how it can be done. In particular two landmarks, Aarhus and Copenhagen, could inspire large European Cities on how to implement the directives.
The second largest city in Denmark, the City of Aarhus, cultural city of Europe 2017, was the first city in Denmark to develop a district heating plan for the whole city and moreover combined with the first approval two new CHP units at the power plant Studstrupværket.
You may find information about the Aarhus heat transmission system at:
The plan has been fully implemented since year 2000 and is now entering a second phase of increasing the share of renewable energy significantly.
Greater Copenhagen, a region of 20 local authorities, was the first region to implement a regional heat plan including zoning of gas and district heating based on CHP and energy from waste. Moreover the plan was combined with the first approval of a new CHP plant with heat accumulators located at a new site close to the heat market – Avedøreværket. Exactly as it is requested by the EE directive.
You may find more information about the integrated district heating system in the Copenhagen Region at:
Denmark has taken the lead again
No doubt many European cities will catch-up with Denmark and reach the same level of urban energy efficiency within some years, however Denmark takes one more step. The policy of transforming the whole energy sector to be independent of fossil fuels will be a challenge to the energy systems and the building sector to be even more energy efficient and integrate low quality and fluctuating renewable energy.
We can already now see how the challenge boosts a development of more efficient supply of district heating, e.g. integrating all possible heat sources and storing heat for longer time in huge heat storage tanks.

Avedøre CHP plant in Copenhagen – a landmark for other cities – the first large CHP plant located at a new site close to the heat market according to national energy legislation.