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Danish district heating reaches solar milestone

by dbdh

Denmark’s district heating supply now holds a proportion of solar energy exceeding 1 GW, according to a first-half status report on 2019 by a consultancy firm.

Solar energy has advanced in the Danish district heating sector in recent years, writes EnergyWatch.eu.

This weekend, heating company Ringe Fjernvarmeselskab opened what is called the largest solar heating facility on the island of Funen. But the 22 MW project is hardly unique, looking at the country’s district heating sector overall, according to a report by consultancy firm Planenergi.

District heating industry surpasses 1 GW of solar energy
New figures reveal that district heating companies have reached a major milestone. The industry has thus embraced solar energy to a degree surpassing 1 GW, with a total thermal effect of 1.1 GW, Planenergi informs, also asserting that this capacity is distributed across 120 plants. “A milestone for solar-based district heating has been passed. The total solar thermal capacity in Danish district heating is now above 1 GW,” writes Planenergi.

The plants started appearing about 30 years ago, often in the vicinity of decentralised natural gas-fired heating plants. Over the years, 29 plants have expanded. In 2016 especially, establishment of solar heating facilities accelerated ahead of the expiry of a scheme allowing companies to save about 10 per cent of costs as part of an energy-saving initiative. When this possibility disappeared, construction took a dive.

A corresponding energy-saving agreement expired in June, which is why Planenergi assumes that a similar deceleration of facility establishment growth will be evident from coming figures.

Planenergi map showing the solar energy district energy distribution by June 2019

The report also shows that the average facility holds 9 MW or about 13,000 square meters of solar panels. The biggest facility is located in Silkeborg, Western Denmark, with a capacity of 110 MW and solar panels covering an area exceeding 156,000 square meters. Usually, the solar heating plants cover around one fifth of the facilities’ total supply.

Source: EnergySupply / EnergyWatch