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Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish Energy Agency was established in 1975 as an agency of the Danish Ministry of Transport and was in 2007 transferred to the newly created Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy The agency is headquartered in 44 Amaliegade.The agency is responsible for handling both national and international agreements and tasks linked to production, supply and consumption of energy, and is the responsible agency for efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. It oversees the legal and political frameworks for reliable, affordable and clean supply of energy in Denmark. Wikipedia.

Andersen T.J.,Copenhagen University | Svinth S.,Copenhagen University | Svinth S.,Danish Energy Agency | Pejrup M.,Copenhagen University
Marine Geology | Year: 2011

Salt marshes are potentially threatened by sea level rise if sediment supply is unable to balance the rising sea. A rapid sea level rise is one of the pronounced effects of global warming and global sea level is at present rising at an elevated rate of about 3.4mm y-1 on average. This increasing rate of sea level rise should make it possible to study the effect of rapidly rising sea level on salt marsh accumulation. However, such an understanding is generally hampered by lack of available data with sufficient precision. Here we present a high-precision dataset based on detailed radiometric measurements of 137Cs in 10 sediment cores retrieved at a natural and unmanaged micro tidal salt marsh. Two distinct 137Cs-peaks were found in all cores, one peak corresponding to the 1963-maximum caused by testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere and the other to the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Salt marsh accretion has generally kept pace with sea level rise since 1963 but comparison of the accumulation rates of minerogenic material in the period 1963-1986 and 1986-2003 revealed a slight decrease in accumulation with time in spite of an observed increase in inundation frequency. The observed decrease in sediment deposition is significant and gives reason for concern as it may be the first sign of a sedimentation deficiency which could be threatening this and other salt marshes in the case of a rapidly rising sea level. Our work demonstrates that the assumption of a constant relationship between salt marsh inundation and sediment deposition is not necessarily valid, even for a salt marsh that receives most of its allocthonous sediment from the adjacent sea. The apparent decrease in sediment deposition indicates that the basic assumption of sufficient sediment supply used in contemporary models dealing with salt marsh accretion is most probably not valid in the present case study and it may well be that this is also the case for many other salt marshes, especially if sea level continues to rise rapidly as indicated by some climate change scenarios. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Source

Odgaard O.,Danish Energy Agency | Delman J.,Copenhagen University
Energy Policy | Year: 2014

Within the last twenty years, China has become dependent on import of coal, oil and natural gas. Especially oil is now an economic and a security concern by the Chinese regime and key international stakeholders. Until 2035, China will account for one fourth of the global net growth in global gas consumption and more than half of the net growth in oil consumption. The future demand cannot be covered by China's own conventional and unconventional sources. Pipelines from neighboring countries can cover more than half of the needed import of natural gas by 2030, but only 10 percent of the import demand of oil is secured so far. Even if China attempts to address its insufficient supply of oil by increased investments in overseas oil fields, there is still a large gap. Furthermore, the oil import will largely come from politically unstable countries and regions, and the bulk of the supplies must be shipped through the potentially insecure Hormuz and Malacca Straits. The ongoing territorial disputes with neighboring countries regarding areas with gas and oil reserves in contested waters bear evidence to regional conflict potentials, and China appears to engage more actively in energy diplomacy and regional cooperation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

This article, written from the stance of a public planner and a policy maker, explores the challenges and potential in creating future learning environments through the concept of a new learning landscape. It is based on the belief that physical planning can support the strategic goals of universities. In Denmark, a political focus on education as a mean to improve national capacity for innovation and growth are redefining the universities role in society. This is in turn changing the circumstances for the physical planning. Drawing on examples of physical initiatives in three different scales-city, building and room scale, the paper highlights how space and place matters on an interpersonal, an interprofessional and a political level. The article suggests that a wider understanding of how new learning landscapes are created-both as a material reality and a political discourse-can help frame an emerging community of practice. This involves university leaders, faculty and students, architects, designers and urban planners, citizens and policy makers with the common goal of creating future learning environments today. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd. Source

Picture shows algae grown in waste water from companies Novo Nordisk and Novozymes in a facility in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. A general view shows DONG Energy's power station, which provides steam, ash and gypsum as waste products to other companies for their use in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. A general view shows DONG Energy's power station, which provides steam, ash and gypsum as waste products to other companies for their use in Kalundborg, Denmark, November 20, 2015. As pioneers of so-called industrial symbiosis, these companies swap waste and byproducts to cut costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions profitably -- an approach that offers big business a financial incentive that could be crucial to nations striving to meet targets agreed at this month's global climate summit. Their success has attracted attention globally, with more than 30 corporate and municipal delegations from 20 countries visiting the town this year, including mayors from China's fast-growing Guandong province. Drugmaker Novo Nordisk, enzyme producer Novozymes and DONG Energy, together with Denmark's largest oil refinery, run by Statoil, are part of the group profiting from what is essentially a combined waste-management operation. The continually evolving model first attracted academia in the 1990s and prompted the creation of the Symbiosis Center in the town. Its head, Mette Skovbjerg, says businesses digesting the historic emissions deal could learn from Kalundborg. "What's attractive is that it's fairly easy for companies to see themselves in this model. They're not just going green but going on a path that is very similar to how they do business normally," she said. "The driver for this type of collaboration is actually to reduce production costs, not CO2 emissions. The real issue is to achieve primary goals companies have; to secure supplies and access to resources. That's a logic they understand." There are 30 types of materials -- ranging from steam, water and condensate to ash, sand, ethanol and biomass -- exchanged between companies and utilities in 50 processes at Kalundborg. What's useless for one, is useful for another. Steam from DONG's power station is pumped along pipelines around town to the Novo Nordisk and Novozymes plants, where it is used as a cleaning agent, and to the refinery, where it is used in several processes. The power station's ash and gypsum waste are moved to a cement company and a plasterboard maker respectively. Novo Nordisk and Novozymes' waste water is purified for municipal use, while their leftover biomass is converted to fertilizers. Statoil, too, has reduced emissions by turning waste sulfur and nitrogen into fertilizers and also feeds back used water to the power station and a water reservoir. Managers at all manner of businesses are attracted by such efficiency improvements, costs savings and value-added products. European Union institutions are embedding the idea of a so-called circular economy in a number of action plans and papers, and the European Commission says it promotes replication of Kalundborg in its 80 billion euro ($87 billion) Horizon 2020 innovation and growth project. "The town of Kalundborg has been one of the pioneers ... The Commission recognized it as a best-practice example of effective resource saving and recycling of materials in industrial production," Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said. The nature of the project means benefits are difficult to quantify precisely. The Symbiosis Center calculated emission cuts as a result of the product exchanges at 270,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in 2008. It is in the process of updating that calculation and expects a significant increase thanks to new projects. Total greenhouse emissions in Denmark in 2008 amounted to 63.8 million tonnes, down 3 million tonnes from the previous year, though emissions have since varied from rising to falling by as much as 6 million tonnes, Danish Energy Agency data shows. Savings are also hard to calculate partly because of the variety of exchanges but mostly because each process is part of a commercial deal between companies, with financial details undisclosed. Business consultancy Copenhagen Economics estimated cost savings at Kalundborg to be between 500 million and 600 million Danish crowns ($72 million to $87 million) a year, based on interviews with executives, in a 2013 report looking at whether the wider Copenhagen region should adopt the model. That may not be a significant amount for the likes of Novo Nordisk, which produces half of the world's insulin in Kalundborg and reaps annual revenue of $10 billion, but it does show emissions cuts do not have to cost. And that seems to be enough for the streams of visitors to Kalundborg. The Symbiosis Center has presented the model to top Chinese Communist Party official Yu Zhengsheng and has partnered with the Tianjin Economic Technological Development Area, an ecological industrial park close to the Chinese port city. Delegations from Singapore, Malaysia, Egypt and Kenya all visited in the past year, as well as plenty of European groups. A few minutes drive from the industrial hub of Kalundborg lies a greenhouse containing huge tanks in which algae is being grown for a new project cultivating living cells that can clean waste water by consuming pollutants. The EU-funded project, which takes waste water from Novo Nordisk and Novozymes, is now looking to upgrade the harvesting of algae to a degree that makes production commercially viable. The algae could also be used as feed for fish or have pigments extracted for the medical industry. The Symbiosis Center's Skovbjerg says this is a new step for the model. "Its core was only to take what was a leftover residual from one industry and use it in a different production process. Here, we're using waste water as a growth medium to produce a value-added product," she said as a project leader in the greenhouse showed a dark green paste in a bucket, its use as yet undecided. Despite such progress, EU funding, widespread praise and a multitude of visitors and academic papers, it must be noted that part of Kalundborg's success is down to four decades of organic growth and, crucially, the fortuitous proximity of key companies around the town. Peter Laybourn, chief executive of International Synergies, which facilitates similar collaboration between companies in various countries, acknowledges that the proximity factor means the Kalundborg model is limited but the underlying principles remain sound. The prospect of commercially viable agreements that also cut CO2 emissions is mentioned by all who are looking to emulate Kalundborg regardless of how they label the model, be it industrial symbiosis, a circular economy or eco-industrial park. "We use the language of business. We don't talk about emissions, we talk about risks and profit. But it just so happens, because we're dealing with materials or energy, we end up getting the environmental benefits as well," Laybourn said.

News Article | March 9, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

The small country of Denmark (pop. 5.6 million) is making a big commitment to renewables. In the early 1970s imported oil supplied 92 percent of Denmark’s energy. Today Denmark’s electric grid is over 40 percent renewably powered, and the country is aiming to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable energy in all sectors by 2050. Denmark also plans to reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels–without the use of carbon credits—ten years ahead of the proposed EU target. Denmark is fortunate to have extremely good wind speeds—averaging 7.6 meters per second (California’s Altamont Pass wind farm sees 5.3 to 7.1 m/s, and power output rises as the cube of windspeed). The country has a goal for windpower to supply 50 percent of electricity consumption by 2020, and it is well on its way. In 2015, wind power supplied 42 percent of domestic electricity consumption. Denmark was the first country in the world to build massive offshore wind farms, installing a 5 MW wind farm two kilometers from the coastline in 1991. Since then the country has installed four other offshore wind farms bringing offshore wind capacity to 1,271 MW. The country also has over 300 onshore wind turbines bringing total wind capacity as of January 1, 2016 to 5,070 MW. To reach its goal of 50 percent wind power by 2020, the country has an initiative to deploy an additional 1,000 MW of offshore and 500 more MW of nearshore wind turbines, as well as to replace old onshore wind turbines with new higher-capacity ones. In order to avoid any potential local opposition to the onshore wind farm, the Danish government implemented various regulations to help with public acceptance. For example, residents are compensated if a property loses value due to wind turbines, the local community receives a payment per megawatt-hour of power generated, and at least 20 percent of the shares in a wind farm must be offered to local residents. Denmark is also a great example of how energy consumption can be decoupled from economic growth. Over the past 30 years, the country’s energy consumption has remained relatively stable, while gross domestic product has doubled. “Our continued efforts on energy conservation have greatly reduced our electricity demand,” according to Henning Parbo, Chief Economist for Energinet, the country’s electric and gas transmission system operator. “And Denmark is not characterized by high energy-intensive industry.” In fact, Denmark is one of the most energy-efficient countries in the EU and the OECD, partly because many Danish companies have optimized their industrial processes, facilities, and equipment. Denmark’s goal is to reduce its final energy consumption by 7 percent in 2020 compared to 2010. The different energy sectors in Denmark—oil, electricity, natural gas, and district heating—are each assigned a share of energy savings to reach depending on their market share. The trade associations for those sectors then delegate responsibility for those savings to its member companies, also based on market share. The country also quadrupled new buildings’ thermal efficiency from 1977, and forbade oil- and gas-fired heating of new buildings from 2013. Denmark is also a leader in combined heat and power (CHP). Twelve percent of all power in Denmark is generated from biomass and organic waste in CHP plants, and more than 80 percent of Danish district heating is cogenerated with electricity. Today, there are 670 decentralized CHP plants around the country. Most of the biomass being used in Denmark today is from straw and biodegradable waste, and 30 percent is imported from Eastern European countries and Canada in the form of wood pellets and wood chips. Biomass proponents claim that burning wood pellets is a carbon-neutral form of energy because the plants that are the source of biomass capture as much CO2 when growing as they emit when burned. However, many others believe harvesting wood for biomass is anything but carbon-neutral and threatens many diverse ecosystems throughout the world. In December 2014, the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy, and Building announced that only sustainably produced biomass would be purchased. The agreement includes requirements for the entire biomass supply chain and requires that forests that supply biomass for energy production be replanted. However, the debate continues, as some argue that planting is no guarantee of healthy maturation—about as much biomass belowground must also be protected in its volume and biodiversity, and although the biomass may be sustainably produced, the magnitude of the biomass material harvested may be unsustainable. Denmark’s CHP plants, in combination with the wind turbines, make Denmark one of the countries with the highest percentage of distributed generation in the world. In 1990, the country had 15 central power plants. It now has 20 central power stations (4,200 MW), 45 electric boilers (550 MW), 5,300 wind turbines (5,070 MW), and 94,000 solar PV panels (785 MW), in addition to the 670 local combined heat and power plants (2,300 MW). While the variability of wind power can be challenging, one advantage Denmark has is its proximity to other countries to which it can export wind power. When Denmark has an excess of wind power, as happened last July when the country’s wind turbines produced 140 percent of the electricity demand, it exports electricity to Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Sweden and Norway import the electricity to save water in their hydro reservoirs, and use their hydropower during periods of low wind. Germany uses German windpower to save coal, though Germany’s own renewables are so robust that with their legal (and economically rational) dispatch priority, they often limit Denmark’s ability to export to Germany. Denmark is also looking into establishing new connections to farther countries such as Holland and England. Denmark is hoping to build a smart grid, and embarked on a full-scale smart grid pilot project in 2005, by reorganizing its grid in a cellular architecture. The Cell Controller Pilot Project (CCPP), which lasted for seven years, used advanced computers to jointly control wind turbines, CHP plants, and other distributed generation sources in a 1,000 square kilometer region, making them operate as a single integrated virtual power plant that can intelligently ramp production up or down depending on wind conditions and power consumption. This not only helps with grid reliability, but also provides ancillary services such as power balancing, import and export of power, and voltage control. A study conducted by Energinet showed that implementing a smart grid would provide gross socioeconomic benefits of $1.2 billion. Most importantly, Danish grid operators, who 15 years ago would have considered it impossible to run the grid stably with three-fifths renewable supply, now achieve this routinely. They have become among the world’s most adept at integrating diverse, distributed, often variable, renewable resources. As a result, Danish electricity supply is the most reliable in Europe, slightly ahead of Germany’s, and about ten times more reliable than U.S. electricity supply. Being fossil fuel free by 2050 means a big change in transportation. Yet Denmark has already made great strides. To discourage gasoline consumption, Denmark has a 180 percent tax on new cars, waived if one buys an electric car; a 95 percent surtax on cars weighing over two tonnes; and an annual tax on cars’ inefficiency. There is also free parking for EVs in all cities. It is estimated there are more than 4 million bicycles in Denmark and more than 10,000 kilometers of separated bike paths and bike lanes. And one-third of all commutes to work and school are done by bicycle. In its 2014 report, the Danish Energy Agency laid out four scenarios on how to be fossil fuel free by 2050: The country does face challenges ahead. “The continued governmental support around Europe to renewable energy with zero marginal costs drives conventional units out of the market and will make the pricing of electricity a strange business,” Parbo told RMI. “This also means that the ability to supply enough electricity in periods with no wind and no solar production will become the main future challenge.” But the main conclusion of the Danish Energy Agency’s report is that it is technically feasible for the Danish energy system to be 100 percent fossil fuel free. And it’s well on its way. Photo courtesy of CGP Grey via Flickr, Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0). 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