Case Study: Passiv working with Dong Energy in Denmark
Introduction to the Danish Energy Market
Following the oil crisis in the 1970s, Denmark set out to become energy self-sufficient. Consequently, as concerns over carbon emissions grew in the 1980s, Denmark found itself with relatively high carbon dioxide emissions per capita, primarily due to the coal-fired electrical power plants that had become the norm after the energy crisis.
Denmark has been self-reliant on energy since 1999, with significant oil and gas production in the North Sea, and is a net exporter of energy. Denmark is the second largest producer of oil in the EU and oil plays an important role in the energy mix. Natural gas and renewable sources have been gradually replacing solid fuels and oil in primary energy supply. However, imported coal is an important fuel in electricity generation.
Transport (34%) and households (28%) are the most energy-consuming sectors. Denmark demonstrates the lowest energy intensity among EU Member States, although due to the high presence of fossil fuels in the energy mix, CO2 per capita production and intensity are significantly higher than the EU average.
More recently Denmark has set itself strong targets for carbon reduction and the elimination of fossil fuels, with 35% of energy to be delivered from renewables by 2020 and 100% by 2050. Renewable energy has experienced a significant growth since the late 1980s with both wind and energy from waste contributing to energy production. Currently 25% of energy generation and over 40% of electricity comes from renewable sources, which by far exceed the EU averages.
Of the 2.5 million homes in Denmark, approximately 1 million are connected to a district heating network which provides both space and water heating. The heat is generated in co-generation plants primarily using waste and Biomass, with a low carbon footprint: however, when additional heat is required in extreme weather conditions, the top up plants tend to use either natural gas or oil.
The remaining 1.5 million homes use fossil fuel for space and water heating – typically gas or oil boilers as they are not close to a District heating network and some may also be off of the gas grid. Danish building regulations have eliminated the use of electrical heating in recent years. Oil production has now peaked and will be used up in around 20 years.
In order to achieve the ambitious carbon reduction targets and move away from the culture of plentiful energy supply of the last 20 years, it is clear that as well as moving to renewable energy sources overall energy consumption should be reduced.
Read the full report on Passiv working with Dong Energy in Denmark here.