Home Featured STRONG SUPPORT FOR DISTRICT HEATING: 40,000 CONNECTED IN 2023

STRONG SUPPORT FOR DISTRICT HEATING: 40,000 CONNECTED IN 2023

by Linda Bertelsen

– MANY MORE ON THE WAY…

In 2023, 40,000 new customers were connected to district heating. This is shown in a new statement, which also reveals that more than an additional 100,000 homes will have access to district heating in the coming years.

District heating is the most effective tool for phasing out natural gas in space heating. This is shown in the latest survey conducted by Danish District Heating among the Danish district heating companies, where the companies have indicated how many new district heating consumers they have acquired in 2023.

The survey shows that 40,000 new district heating consumers were added in 2023. This builds on the momentum the companies created after the energy crisis, where the pace of phasing out natural gas was accelerated. The district heating companies have taken on the task of phasing out natural gas. 

They are doing so in large quantities, offering everyone in the individual local areas the opportunity to join. Denmark aims to remove natural gas from our homes while also having clear climate goals. 

Therefore, I am incredibly proud to note that the Danish district heating companies are meeting these goals and significantly reducing the use of natural gas,” says Kim Mortensen, Director of Danish District Heating Association, and continues:

The growth of district heating adoption in Denmark spanning from 2018 to 2024, as documented by the Danish District Heating Association’s data table.

In 2023, the district heating companies followed the direction set by the Prime Minister and the municipalities’ heating plans and responded to the demand from consumers. It has been a year where the companies have been challenged by falling natural gas prices, increasing the need to put more energy into efforts to ensure connection to district heating projects. Fortunately, they have largely succeeded, probably due to homeowners prioritizing security and comfort in their choice of heat source,” says Kim Mortensen.

District heating companies are ready to phase out an additional 120,000 natural gas furnaces.

In addition to connecting new district heating customers, the Danish district heating companies have also been working on projects to connect many more district heating customers in the coming years. In 2023, project proposals for converting more than 60,000 natural gas customers were approved. 

According to Danish District Heating Association’s membership survey, the sector expects to make project proposals in 2024 with a potential for a further 62,000 natural gas conversions, which will be carried out gradually until 2028.

We already have the necessary technologies to stop using fossil energy in residential heating. Now, we just need political action.

Kim Mortensen, Director of the Danish District Heating Association

In addition to making significant progress in phasing out natural gas in recent years, the district heating sector continues to have very ambitious goals. Specifically, there are expected to be more than 120,000 potential natural gas conversions in project proposals for 2023 and 2024. 

This is a record we have not seen before. With these projects, we will gradually convert natural gas furnaces to district heating in the coming years. But it requires the right tools to realize this enormous potential,” says Kim Mortensen.

The district heating sector is awaiting recommendations from the NEKST working group on “farewell to gas in Danish homes.” But already, the message from the district heating sector is that there is a great need to extend the district heating fund and add more funds, set a time for stopping the use of gas in residential heating, and extend the lifespan of investments in district heating pipes.

We already have the necessary technologies to stop using fossil energy in residential heating. Now, we just need political action to ensure that we can realize the potential of each technology and that we, in district heating, can continue the ambitious pace of conversions to green district heating. 

We hope the NEKST recommendations can contribute to the momentum built in 2022 and 2023. Especially the district heating fund is the most effective tool in phasing out natural gas because it contributes as security for the companies’ significant investments and helps increase participation in the projects,” says Kim Mortensen.

The district heating fund opened on Thursday, February 1, with DKK 150 million, where district heating companies had already applied for DKK 399.9 million by Monday, February 5, distributed across 41 applications. Twelve applications have so far received a reservation for subsidies from the fund.

This article was translated from the Danish District Heating Association’s website.