Let the district heating sector contribute to meeting the climate goals.

Date: 01/03/2023

The Danish District Heating Association believes Denmark can go far if the rollout of district heating is accelerated and CO2 capture is established at waste energy and biomass plants.


Since the Danish Council on Climate Change delivered its last status report, which assesses the government's efforts to meet the climate targets, there has been more focus on the green transition, phasing out of fossil fuels, and expanding renewable energy.

Here, the district heating industry is ready to contribute at an increased pace to reach the climate targets and the climate target in 2050, says the Danish District Heating Association.

- The energy crisis and the need to phase out natural gas has created enormous political and societal focus on accelerating the green transition and phasing out Russian natural gas, says Kim Mortensen, director of the Danish District Heating Association, and he adds:

- In its latest status report, the Danish Council on Climate Change states that there is a high risk that the government's outlined path will not bring Denmark to its goal of a 70 percent reduction in 2030. Kim Mortensen says that the district heating industry is ready to establish CO2 capture, roll out green district heating, and phase out fossil fuels in the heating.

Massive potential for CO2 reduction in waste incineration

If Denmark is to achieve climate neutrality in 2045, which is the government's ambition, then CO2 emissions must be hunted. But the Danish District Heating Association also points out that CO2 reductions must not come at the expense of the security of supply. Here it is ideal to look at CO2 capture, where the biogenic CO2 can be used in PtX plants.

In early February, the Danish Parliament followed up on the almost three-year-old climate agreement on a greener waste sector with a bill to reduce capacity and, thus, CO2 emissions through competition. But if you look exclusively at CO2 capture, the potential is much higher than through a competitive model.

- There is a massive potential for CO2 capture in waste-to-energy plants, where the Danish Energy Agency's projection shows that there is potential for between 1.3 and 2.7 million tonnes of CO2 reduction. That is why we call on the government and the Danish Parliament to put the bill on putting the waste-to-energy plants on hold to retain our opportunities to establish CO2 capture in the next 5-7 years, says Kim Mortensen.

In its status report, the Danish Council on Climate Change states that a postponement of the competition will not reduce the amount of waste incinerated in Denmark. Thus the national emissions will not be reduced. Instead, the Danish Council on Climate Change points out that there must be a political focus on establishing CO2 capture at incineration plants. The Danish District Heating Association agrees with this.

- Our members who own the power plants and waste-to-energy plants are ready to capture, but also to store and utilize the CO2 so that Denmark maintains a high security of energy supply and at the same time contributes to achieving the climate goals, says Kim Mortensen.

If you want to read the Danish Council on Climate Change's status report (in Danish) - click here.

Translated from the Danish District Heating Association's website