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Fjernvarmeindustrien’s annual meeting

by dbdh









The annual meeting of Fjernvarmeindustrien took its start at ARC, the waste incineration plant, which is also home to the new and much talked-about Amager Bakke designed by famous architect Bjarke Ingells, which will feature an all-year ski slope with a fantastic view.

After a welcome speech by Niels Sørensen, Chairman of FIF Marketing, Head of Secretariat at ARC, Peter Roulund gave an introduction to the plant, and after that, people were divided into groups to go on a guided tour around the plant.

Following the very interesting tour with great views both inside and outside the plant, the meeting moved to IDA Mødecenter.

After a networking lunch, and an introduction by Chairman of DBDH, Jan Strømvig, Birger Lauersen gave an introduction to the first theme of the day the Winter Package. In the Winter Package, presented last November by the EU Commission, a series of proposals is included that affect the European energy supply. The package is welcomed by the European district heating and cooling sector, as DHC play a large role in the package, especially in the proposal for revision of the Renewable Energy directive. The prominent role is also the positive outcome of the efforts by the European DHC sector with the Heat Roadmap analyses, which demonstrate the role the technology will play in developing a sustainable energy supply for cities. This is important as it is only few years ago when many people equalized energy with (just) electricity. Birger explained the approach and their positions on the directives and various articles in the proposals, and ended his presentation with a suggestion to the audience to take part in the upcoming Global District Energy Award in October.

Next speaker on the subject was Morten Helveg: Morten is member of the European Parliament in the ALDE group and Vice Chair of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee. As he said: “it is almost a tradition to speak at this event”, and so he did once again. According to Morten, the thought of an energy union was immense, but this was before migrant crisis, Brexit, the antiques of Putin etc. Asked about what has made an impact on him, what has actually really made a big impression is the work with colleagues from e.g. Eastern Europe and to witness their anxiety over Russia – what is vital to many people, though not an issue in Denmark, is that of security of energy supply. According to Morten, we have been given a unique opportunity to put our footprint on Europe, and the European countries must embrace the global leadership and secure that the package is optimized and carried out to the benefit of all Europeans. We must look for a future where we harvest the enormous results of energy efficiency and offer citizens and companies cleaner as well as cheaper energy. In short, the Winter Package is a top priority – a unique opportunity when it comes to promoting renewable energy, improving energy efficiency, and reducing greenhouse gasses.

Under the headline “The impact of the EU Winter Package on district heating in Poland”, Jacek Szymczak, president of the Polish Chamber of District Heating, IGCP, talked about how the package will have a significant influence on systemic heating in Poland. Szymczak illustrated how specific regulations from the package will influence district heating in Poland, e.g. the use of energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency and the internal electricity market regulation. According to Jacek, it is important to be aware of the various (and different) groups that exist in the area of district heating and cooling, because these are quite different groups: consumers, costumers, designers, investors, media, non-customers, and more. Jacek analysed the proposals from a substance as well as legal point of view. Simon Woodward, Chairman of the UK District Energy Association talked about the history of district heating and today’s regulations in the UK. Historically, district energy in the UK had a very bad reputation due to poor installation because of joint failures; poor pipe systems because of insulation/pipe failures; poor control, because of poor heat distribution across the network; and poor water treatment, because of internal corrosion and pipe failure. But actually, many urban areas contained a scheme in 1950s/60s, however, most of these have now been removed. A new breed of schemes are now leading the way, of these the earliest commenced in the 1980s. But still only a small number of large scale schemes in the UK.

According to Simon, the last 40 years have seen limited and variable fiscal incentives, and poor standards of design, materials and installation meant many schemes were removed. There has been no real clear indicator to the market that the UK was really interested in district heating, and therefore market and levels of expertise required failed to develop. However, this has changed by now: DECC have a “Heat Focus” – a heat infrastructure team and a head of heat infrastructure. Local authorities are best placed to lead projects and over £10M awarded to ~ 140 LA’s (20% of all in UK) to explore the development of 180 projects. There is an independent consumer regulation and there are codes of practice. Also, a £330M of Capital Grant/Loan Funding has been given to support the development of networks over the next 4 years. The theme of the second part of the annual meeting was district cooling. In these years, the world’s population flows to the big cities, where there is a need to cool the houses in the summer. Therefore, there is an enormous potential for installing cheap and climate-friendly district cooling instead of air conditioning.

But if Danish companies are to be part of the market, a strong domestic market is needed for district cooling. This is emphasized by consulting company Ramboll in a report that has just been released, made for DI, the Danish District Heating Association and the District Heating Industry.

Managing director of DBDH and Fjernvarmeindustrien Lars Hummelmose introduced the subject and the report, which has already gained a lot of interest and media coverage.

The report was presented and discussed by Tina Kramer Christensen from Ramboll, who welcomed the exiting development that is going in Denmark as well as abroad. The new report can be seen as an executive summary of Køleplan Danmark, which was published last year. Tine went through the report, and pinpointed the fact that district cooling and district heating go hand in hand and act like a symbiosis.

Astrid Birnbaum, director of the utility supply Høje Taastrup Fjernvarme, presented the first district cooling case. The company has no own production but buys the heat from transmission company VEKS. Astrid talked about the new Copenhagen Market, placed in Høje Taastrup, which was their recent big district cooling case; a model, which will also be used for a new large water world that is planned for the area. Astrid Birnbaum urged other companies that are interested in establishing district cooling not to be so worried about having a lot of customers – it is sufficient to just have one large customer instead.

Yet another district heating supply company was there to present their district cooling case: Frederiksberg Forsyning has supplied district cooling to the local conference center Falkonercenter and Carlsberg. Jens Peter Truelsen, who presented the utility, gave an update on the status of their district cooling: today, they operate a cooling system at Frederiksberg (Falkonercenter, in operation in 2014) and a system in Carlsberg Byen (put in operation in 2016). Frederiksberg Forsyning uses traditional ammoniak compressors and dry coolers for deposition of the heat energy.
From consulting engineer company COWI came Torben Hermansen, who stated that district cooling is gaining foothold because there is a big need for comfort, and also because people’s prosperity, in general, is increasing. However, there are also places where district cooling could have been the obvious choice (e.g. in China), but where other options have been chosen. One of the challenges is that district cooling is rather investment heavy. Torben Hermansen gave an overview of conditions that should be met in order for district cooling to be a success: customers that ask for district cooling; a large cooling need (preferably many operating hours); political control and a wish or a demand for cooling; easy access to cold medium; and demands for architecture. Torben also offered some examples of some concrete projects that are going on, in Doha, Qatar Cool, cooling of metro stations, Oman, Muskat International Airport, as well as in the three Nordic capitals Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

After the presentations and the panel debates, people were invited to join a sail around the harbor of Copenhagen and its canals. Journalist and author Peter Olesen was the guide of the tour, contributing with many interesting aspects of the architecture and history of the city from his point of view.

Following the sail around the canals of Copenhagen, the networking dinner concluded the annual meeting of Fjernvarmeindustrien. We would like to thank everyone present and look forward to next year’s meeting.

Presentations from the meeting:

Astrid Birnbaum
Birger Lauersen
Jacek Szcymzak
Jan Strømvig
Jens Peter Truelsen
Peter Roulund
Simon Woodward
Tina Kramer
Torben Hermansen