The Danish city of Esbjerg has very ambitious goals to become carbon neutral by 2030. By creating sector coupling to existing and future business sectors DIN Forsyning and district heating plays a key role in supporting the city’s development.
Esbjerg City in Denmark is undergoing a huge change these years in transforming the carbon industry into a green city. Over the past decade, Esbjerg has become the European market leader in offshore wind, building on over fifty years of experience with offshore oil and gas. Consequently, the energy transition has the highest priority, and the municipality has stated the ambition to become carbon-neutral by 2030.
DIN Forsyning is the local district heating supply company. Together with Port of Esbjerg and the municipality, we have created a task force to support the green transition of local companies and create a sustainable foundation to attract new industries in the power-to-X sector.
District heating plays a crucial role in the transition of the city. The district heat distribution system can receive hot water from all kinds of sources. This unique feature can be used to help all the local companies reduce their CO2 consumption and thereby support the ambition of a carbon-neutral city.
Sector coupling is an essential key to a future of climate-neutral energy
In the future, DIN Forsyning wants to use excess heat from local companies directly in the distribution system. These could, e.g., be production companies or Power-to-X-companies, which generate heat in their production or production processes.
For the production company, utilizing their excess heat in the district heating system could reduce their CO2 emissions significantly while also ensuring more sustainable products. By lowering the heat production at our heat plants, we would be able to reduce our CO2 emissions accordingly. In the future, we are also looking into whether our district heating system could be used as a cooling system – we have to position district heating as a sustainable resource for the city as a whole.
So far, the task force has been in dialogue with several large companies currently considering starting up in Esbjerg. Five Power-to-X companies have already announced their arrival, and the sustainable use of their excess heat in the district heat system is essential.
However, excess heat cannot cover the demand for heat throughout the year. Therefore, DIN Forsyning is heavily investing in several small heat plants.
The next generation of district heating is modular and hybrid
As a district heating supplier, DIN Forsyning has a lot of important work ahead. First, we plan to transform and adapt our heat production and distribution to be as sustainable as possible. The key to success lies in combining renewable energy sources and using resources and residues across sectors. And the solution must be digital, flexible, and intelligent – all brought together in a green energy station in Esbjerg.
We will combine many small and different solutions, all linked to a central distribution network. It provides a flexible electricity-powered utilization of waste heat from waste to energy plants, local industry, wastewater treatment, seawater, future data centers, and eFuel plants.
It is a modular solution where each part is only used when reasonable – economically and environmentally. When the wind blows, electricity is generated from the wind turbines, which causes the heat pumps to start running. And when industrial production reaches a certain level, it enables the waste heat to be utilized.
Instead of relying on a few large units, we believe several smaller sustainable units should supply the heat. Our plan involves a 70 MW CO2-based seawater heat pump plant, a biomass boiler plant, electric boilers, natural gas boilers, and industrial waste heat utilization. The goal is optimal utilization of waste heat which might include new seasonal heat storage capacity and future technologies.
DIN Forsyning is a multi-utility company with district heating production and supply services, drinking water supply, wastewater treatment, and household and industrial waste collection. The company is owned by the Municipality of Esbjerg and the Municipality of Varde and operates within the Danish laws and regulations of public utility supply.
For further information, please contact: Claus A. Nielsen, firstname.lastname@example.org