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From Coal To Gas Reducing Denmark’s CO2 Emissions by 1%

by Linda Bertelsen
Demonstrating100 percent fossil free district heating and cooling solutions across Europe

From now on, more residents of Funen in Denmark will receive their electricity and district heating from a greener source than the coal that the Fynsværket (Funen Power Plant) has used until today.

As of today, the black coal will be replaced with a greener alternative, says Louise Høst, CEO of Fjernvarme Fyn (district heating company in Funen).

“In the first instance, we are converting to gas, which is 30 percent greener. Gas is not a long-term solution, but the green transition requires that we take some steps along the way and do it gradually.”

Originally, the Funen Power Plant was supposed to ditch coal in 2022, but the war in Ukraine and reluctance to buy Russian gas postponed that decision, which Odense city councilors made back in 2020.

Significant CO2 reduction

Odense Municipality aims to be climate-neutral by 2030. Therefore, the municipality’s climate and environmental councilor, Tim Vermund, would have preferred to see Funen Power Plant stop using coal back in 2022.

“But today, we must be pleased that we are ending 70 years of coal dependence in Odense.”

The councilor says ditching coal would have been costly during an energy crisis and war in Ukraine.

“At that time, it would have cost us around one billion kroner because coal had to be replaced with gas. And because gas prices skyrocketed due to the war in Ukraine, it was simply necessary to postpone it.”

According to Odense Municipality, the transition from coal to gas at the Funen Power Plant saves one percent of Denmark’s entire CO2 emissions, something which Professor Henrik Wenzel from the Institute for Green Technology at the University of Southern Denmark calls a significant reduction.

However, he also points out that long-term climate issues are often deprioritized in situations like this.

“It becomes a balancing act between supply security in a crisis situation and the climate. The very short-term security aspects often weigh heavier than the long-term climate impact, even though it is at least equally problematic.”

Stability in gas supply

The gas that will provide electricity and heat to more homes in Funen in the future comes from the Nordic Gas Exchange. It is gas that can come from different suppliers – including Russia, according to Louise Høst, CEO of Fjernvarme Fyn.

“We chose, among other things, to postpone the phase-out of coal so that we could contribute to minimizing the EU’s need for Russian gas. At the same time, it would increase the supply security for other gas consumers who could not change their fuels.”

In addition to the Funen Power Plant, the Studstrup Power Plant, Esbjerg Power Plant, and Nordjylland Power Plant also use coal and plan to stop using it within the next few years.

 

The article has been translated from DR.dk