The Danish Energy Agency is frontrunner within energy planning and district heating. Merely 1 % of Scottish households have district heating, which is noticeable compared to Denmark’s 64 %. Therefore, a Scottish delegation has paid the Danish Energy Agency and Copenhagen a visit to learn from the Danish experience
In November 2014, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building, Rasmus Helveg Petersen, signed an energy cooperation agreement with the Scottish Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism. On this foundation the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) has welcomed a Scottish delegation including spatial planners from selected municipalities, such as Falkik, Fife, Highland, Kinross and Perth and Senior Planner, Michael Westwater, from the Scottish Government.
The Scots spent three days in Copenhagen with an intense and diverse programme. To present the Danish solutions to strategic energy planning and the district heating sector to the delegation, several meetings were held at DEA’s own premises. The delegation was introduced to the Danish heating sector, with a focus on state and local aspects of strategic energy planning and spatial planning, along with an overview of the Danish heating sector, including the role of district heating in the Danish energy system.
To illustrate the coherence and distinction between the spatial planning and the energy planning, the Danish Nature Agency was invited to present the planning of Denmark - an aspect of special interest in a Scottish context.
Vital Danish Experience
In addition to the meetings at the DEA, the Scottish delegation paid a visit to Gladsaxe municipality, the Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company (CTR), Borup heating plant and VEKS (district heating transmission company in Copenhagen suburbs). The experts at the sites could through the successful Danish experiences provide useful knowledge in regards to the challenge of converting natural gas into district heating, mandatory connection and concrete plans for expansion.
The delegation finished the study visit at Rambøll - one of Denmark’s leading engineering, design and consultancy companies – where the group was introduced to the overall planning process from data to strategic energy planning.
Scotland has 5.3 million inhabitants, whereas only 1 % of the households are connected to a district heating net, in contrasts to the 64 % of Danish homes. The ambitions are high for the future of Scottish district heating and over the course of the next 6 months, the Scottish government is expected to implement district heating to residents in 32 municipalities.
Of the visit, Michael Westwater - Senior Planner, Planning and Architecture Division, Scottish Government, says:
This Scottish Government sponsored study visit was intended to provide practical knowledge to a handful of our local authorities (municipalities). The aim was to assist them in planning for district heating within their respective areas to meet Scottish Government targets for delivering low carbon energy infrastructure. The trip, organised by the DEA, combined energy and spatial planning, providing practical examples of district heating systems in differing scenarios. Those involved have gained considerable insight into the processes involved and infrastructure required in planning and delivering district heating and cooling systems. We are extremely grateful for the DEAs support and hospitality as well as to all those who took the time to meet with us over the 3 day
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