The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has launched a pilot project together with China’s National Centre for Energy Efficiency (NECC). The project points to a huge potential in cleaner and more efficient district heating in China, which may result in massive climate benefits.
The Danish pilot project is part of the strategic sector bilateral collaboration between China and Denmark. The project plays an important role in China’s quest for cleaner heating solutions that was launched by President Xi Jinping. It demonstrates a great potential for a more efficient district heating expansion in China.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there are 320 million potential district heating customers in northern China. China also has the world’s largest and fastest growing district heating network, which was already three times the size of Denmark’s network in 2015.
The first phase of the project is completed with the analysis of the heating situation in and around Tongchuan, a “small” industrial city of a little less than a million inhabitants in the northern Shaanxi province. The analysis conducted by DEA concluded that there are large climate benefits and efficiency gains from establishing or expanding district heating systems.
For example, one of the proposed projects aims to reduce the annual CO2 emission in Tongchuan by 201,000 tons by using the surplus heat from a local coal plant. This corresponds to more than a half ton per resident in the area. Moreover, the project would reduce local air pollution that currently causes approx. one million deaths annually on a national level. The analysis indicates that this project will be able to return the investment within five years and create increased economic activity in the area.
“With the pilot project, we want to make it clear that the investment is attractive for China – both from an economic point-of-view and a climate perspective. Denmark has committed to implementing Paris Agreement. Among other things, we do this by supporting emerging economies in their green and sustainable development. Strategic partnerships within Danish competitive areas such as district heating are an important tool,” said Kristoffer Böttzauw, Director General at Danish Energy Agency.
A door-opener for Danish companies
The city of Tongchuan is now investigating how to implement the findings of the report. The combination of the enormous growth potential for cleaner and more efficient district heating in China and Danish planning methods will create good opportunities for Danish companies on the Chinese market. China is showing great interest in the project. During the next phase, another city will be selected for a pilot project.
Source: Danish Energy Agency (in Danish)