This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025

Copenhagen 2019

Copenhagen, Denmark (Ava Coploff, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Brian Vad, Mathiesen, Professor, Aalborg University Ida Auken, Member of Parliament, Parliament of Denmark (Folketinget), Jens Martin Skibsted, Partner, Skibsted Ideation Aps


EnergyLab Nordhavn will be completed this year – the Danish smart energy lighthouse project that will integrate all relevant and available energy forms in the city.

The project’s activities are concentrated around Copenhagen’s newly revamped harbor neighborhood, Nordhavn. This emerging district is designed to be the world’s foremost smart energy laboratory at full scale. This district heating and smart-grid integration shows how electricity and heat, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into one intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy?

Moving to clean energy is key to combatting climate change, yet in the past five years, the energy transition has stagnated. Energy consumption and production contribute to two-thirds of global emissions, and 81% of the global energy system is still based on fossil fuels, the same percentage as 30 years ago.

Effective policies, private-sector action and public-private cooperation are needed to create a more inclusive, sustainable, affordable and secure global energy system.

Benchmarking progress is essential to a successful transition. The World Economic Forum’s Energy Transition Index, which ranks 115 economies on how well they balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability, shows that the biggest challenge facing energy transition is the lack of readiness among the world’s largest emitters, including US, China, India and Russia. The 10 countries that score the highest in terms of readiness account for only 2.6% of global annual emissions.

To future-proof the global energy system, the Forum’s Shaping the Future of Energy initiative is working with projects including the Partnering for Sustainable Energy Innovation, the Future of Electricity, the Global Battery Alliance and Scaling Renewable Energy to encourage and enable innovative energy investments, technologies and solutions.

Is your organisation interested in working with the World Economic Forum? Find out more here.

Copenhagen in its entirety, including Nordhavn, aims to become the world’s first CO2-neutral capital by 2025. Over the course of 10 years, Copenhagen has committed to completely removing the city’s 2 million tons of carbon footprint, even as the city continues to grow, with 100,000 new inhabitants and 20,000 jobs.

The biggest contribution to reducing CO2 in the municipality is traditional district heating, which now accounts for virtually the entire municipality’s heat supply. But this water-based infrastructure is not just about district heating, but also about district cooling. Since 2010, a growing part of major companies’ cooling needs has been covered by remote cooling, where seawater is circulated around the companies. This could potentially rid the city’s atmosphere of 80,000 tons of CO2.

 The Nordhavn plans

The Nordhavn plans
Image: EnergyLab Nordhavn

Imagine what the rest of Europe could achieve by implanting EnergyLab and Copenhagen’s findings.

Current solutions do not seriously address rising temperatures and the resulting climate change. Renewable energy sources only go halfway to tackling global warming; the other half is energy efficiency. Our housing, retail and production systems waste gigantic amounts of energy. EnergyLab has empirically demonstrated how we can turn this waste into an immediate resource.

Europe must pick and develop such homegrown technologies to serve its societies – and the rest of the globe. Technological advancement must be supported and co-sponsored by Europe’s democratic institutions to serve societal needs and a greater purpose, fighting global warming.

When we think about future energy systems, we usually think only of electricity. We imagine smart power grids that integrate and deliver electricity for different purposes, like powering household appliances and commercial buildings, or charging electric vehicles. But power grids cannot dramatically reduce the amount of energy that is wasted at the source of the energy application. Here is where the power grid’s twin – the smart thermal water grid – comes into play.

Energy efficiency does not just draw on the usual suspects – renovation, triple-glazing, etc – but also exploits the heat that is currently wasted from industrial and commercial activities. A double-combo approach on energy efficiency is needed to maximise decarbonization, which can be most cost-effective by building thermal grids at scale. This requires a hard-boiled strategic and long-term plan – and brave policies.

We need to link district heating systems and expand thermal grids at scale. The next step in Europe is to make smart thermal grids that can harvest heat wasted from current and future sources such as power plants and data centres. Europe is wasting enough heat to almost cover the current heat demands in all its buildings. The Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE) project and World Economic Forum’s Future of Europe, Energy initiative sparked the idea of creating a smart thermal grid in all EU countries. As a result, the Pan-European Thermal Atlas (Peta) now pairs areas with heat demand and heat excess sources. In other words, it is preparing and planning the heat grid.

The effort to reduce CO2 emissions must eliminate use of coal; however, it has been replaced by gas, another fossil fuel, only with better efficiency. That does not reflect a strong commitment to fight climate change. Not to mention that the imports price tag amounted to almost 65 billion euros in 2016. Coal alternatives such as gas are still CO2-emitting fossil fuels and as such half-measures that blur the climate change debate. Ultimately, European and other international efforts must eliminate all of them, especially now that our industries can implement 100% renewable energy systems cost-effectively.

HRE proved that we can eliminate the need of gas in a cost-effective manner with existing known smart thermal technologies that recycle excess heat and store renewable energy heat – from solar, geothermal and other sources. Why not take note of HRE’s research and follow Copenhagen’s lead: connect and expand district energy systems with excess heat and renewable sources, large heat pumps and thermal storage. We can instantly decarbonize the heating and cooling sector in 14 European countries, which together account for 90% of heat demand.

 

EU must pursue a strategic initiative with partners from both the public and private sector, and co-fund thermal grids by applying methodologies from transmission grids for electricity or natural gas (the PCI lists). Respecting the goals of the Paris Agreement, Europe must instantly, immediately and massively implement a thermal grid to decarbonize for Europe’s future generations.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This Dutch company makes environmentally-friendly paint

Measles cases nearly doubled in a year, UN health agency projects

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

Trust is at breaking point. It’s time to rebuild it

Here’s how the EU is doing on gender equality

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

Call to revitalize ‘language of the ancestors’ for survival of future generations: Indigenous chief

France-Germany: Divided in Europe, USA united in…Iran

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

Is academia losing its chance to capitalize on technology?

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – MENA, in association with The European Sting

These countries have the most expensive childcare

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

Scientists are growing meat on blades of grass

Medical workforce migration in Europe – Is it really a problem?

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Youth policy in Europe not delivering for young people

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

Cities will lead the electric transport revolution. Here’s why

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

ITU Telecom World 2017: exploring smart digital transformation

80,000 youngsters at risk in DRC after forcible expulsion from Angola: UNICEF

FROM THE FIELD: ‘Eco-warriors’ fight climate change in South Africa

Jordan flash flooding: UN chief ‘saddened’ by loss of life

UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

Third EU-Western Balkans Media Days: EU reaffirms comprehensive support to media freedom in the region

My twin from Guangzhou

Australia wants to build a giant underground ‘battery’ to help power the nation

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

The German automotive industry under the Trump spell

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission criticised member states on blocking financial transaction tax

Siege of Syria’s eastern Ghouta ‘barbaric and medieval’, says UN Commission of Inquiry

A Sting Exclusive: the EU referendum is about fighting for an outward-looking Britain

How drones can manage the food supply chain and tell you if what you eat is sustainable

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

UN launches plan to promote peace, inclusive growth in Africa’s Sahel

The fatal consequences of troika’s blind austerity policy

We need to bin disposable items for good. Here are 5 ways to do it

FROM THE FIELD: Conversations about Conservation

Medical Doctors in Industry 4.0: pure science fiction

Alcoholic drinks: Commission tables update of rules governing alcohol excise duties

Embrace ‘people-centered multilateralism,’ UN-civil society forum urges

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

“ASEM: Global Partners for Global Challenges”, a Sting Exclusive by China’s Ambassador to the EU

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

The UK is on a record-breaking run of coal-free power

UK: Customs Union with EU or a longer delay of Brexit

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

These European countries produce the most plastic waste per person

More Stings?

Comments

  1. I think thais actice is important in nowdays, thanks for shearing the information)

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s