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

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

The three biggest challenges for India’s future

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

EP President at the European Youth Event: “Your ideas are key in shaping EU’s future”

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

Scientists can lead the fight against fake news

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

LETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN: Elections serve up food for thought, for Afghan youth

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

GSMA Reveals Shortlist For 2019 Asia Mobile Awards

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

What people want – ignore at your peril

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

35th ACP-EU Assembly: migration and demographics will dominate the debate

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

Halting spread of drug resistance from animals to humans: deal with Council

Where does our food come from? Here’s why we need to know

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

More Stings?

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