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District Cooling Gaining Popularity in Copenhagen

by Linda Bertelsen
District Cooling Gaining Popularity in Copenhagen

HOFOR, Greater Copenhagen utility, now covers a third of all hotel rooms in Copenhagen with district cooling. This method is far more environmentally friendly than traditional air conditioning.

Denmark’s capital has almost 24,000 hotel rooms, and while most are still cooled using air conditioning, things are changing to make cooling much more eco-friendly. 8,500 hotel rooms are now being kept cool using district cooling from HOFOR.

This represents a doubling since 2018, as stated in a press release from HOFOR. Every day, the utility company pumps cold seawater from Copenhagen Harbor into two large cooling plants, from which it is distributed to hotels in Copenhagen.

District cooling uses significantly less energy by harnessing the natural coolness of the sea, as opposed to traditional air conditioning systems that run on electricity.

  • When a property connects to our district cooling system, it reduces CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent compared to outdated local cooling systems. Seawater requires less electricity, allowing individual properties to save up to 40 percent compared to local electric-powered systems, says Jakob Thanning, Area Manager of Customer Solutions & District Cooling at HOFOR.

Additionally, district cooling ensures better utilization of the properties’ valuable square footage, says Jakob Thanning:

  • Our district cooling system runs underground, making it attractive in a space-constrained city like Copenhagen. Simultaneously, we avoid noisy individual cooling systems on building exteriors, as seen abroad, which provides Copenhagen with more attractive facades, space for rooftop terraces and balconies, and more basement space.

Scandic Hotels is one of the hotel chains that utilizes district cooling. This is advantageous, as district cooling eliminates noisy local systems from the hotel rooftops.

  • It’s a significant advantage for us to utilize district cooling from seawater because it allows us to reduce CO2 emissions at our hotels by leveraging the ocean’s temperature, says Tage Holck, Director of Technical Services at Scandic Denmark.

Sustainable transformation of the capital’s tourism is central to Wonderful Copenhagen, which also applauds the development:

  • Recently, we launched the sustainability manifesto for the tourism industry, Planet Copenhagen, which aims to initiate actions and solutions contributing to more sustainable tourism in the capital, including a focus on CO2 emission reduction. District cooling of hotel rooms is an excellent example of an initiative that helps push in the right direction, says Runa Sabroe, Director of Development at Wonderful Copenhagen.

In addition to Copenhagen’s hotels, several banks, museums, and department stores also utilize the attractive district cooling solution. This expansion occurred as HOFOR extended the district cooling network, granting more areas of Copenhagen access to this collective cooling solution.

Translated from the Danish District Heating Association