Today, approximately 70 per cent of renewable-energy consumption in Denmark stems from biomass, mostly in the form of straw, wood and renewable wastes. In the coming years, Danish consumption of biomass will continue to grow as a source of energy bringing sustainable heat and power to both residential and commercial buildings.
For decades, Denmark has utilized biomass to produce energy. In fact, the consumption of biomass for energy production in Denmark more than quadrupled between 1980 and 2009. Biomass has thus made a significant contribution to the reduction of Danish CO2 emissions. This is possible due to well-developed technologies for biomass production, handling, and exploitation.
Due to the extensive use of bioenergy, there is an abundance of expertise available in this field. In addition to hosting several top-efficient, full-scale biomass plants, Denmark is an industry hub and testing ground for modern energy technologies based on biofuels and biogas, and Danish companies and universities cooperate closely to offer world-class biobased solutions globally.
100 % green heat for Copenhagen
A notable example of biomass extension can be found in Copenhagen, where the Danish energy company DONG Energy has entered into a recent heat agreement with the power supply companies VEKS and Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission company (CTR).
The agreement means that DONG Energy will convert Unit 2 at Avedøre Power Station, thus raising the bar from its current 80 % biomass production to a 100 % production based on wood pellets. Total investment for the extension amounts to approximately DKK 100 million.
“The fact that we can extend our capacity to burn wood pellets is a central part of DONG Energy’s strategy for renewable electricity and heat production”, says Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President at DONG Energy.
The biomass-based heat agreement is fully in line with the wish to increase the share of biomass-based power for the Copenhagen area: “The transition towards a higher share of green power from Avedøre Power Station is expected to reduce the CO2-emission from heat supply in the Copenhagen area by slightly more than 10% annually from 2025 and onwards“, explains Ayfer Baykal, Chairman of the Board of Directors at CTR.
Lars Gullev, CEO of VEKS elaborates: “We strongly wish to offer green districting heating to our customers but it is important that it is able to compete with individual heating from oil or natural gas, otherwise it is not possible to pursue the national climate and energy targets of converting natural gas customers to district heating. The new agreement with DONG Energy is an important step in the right direction”.
The first CO2-neutral capital in the world
This example of green heat is yet another building block towards Copenhagen’s ambition to become the first carbon neutral capital in 2025. This goal is supported by a municipal strategic climate action plan where 50 initiatives are rolled out to meet the 2015 midterm goal of a 20 % CO2 reduction.
The goal for many cities is to achieve an environmental as well as economic balance when working towards a sustainable growth in the city. Copenhagen continues to integrate sustainable city solutions and studies show that growth in the green sector of the capital region has increased turnover by 55% over a course of five years.
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This post was written by Dan Howis Lauritsen, communication manager – State of Green.
Visit State of Green’s stand at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Copenhagen 3-7 June.