Low carbon, resilient cities and campuses

An increasing number of international delegations visit Denmark to study the efficient low carbon urban heating and cooling solutions in our cities. They find it interesting, that little Denmark has city-wide district heating, that almost all the CHP potential is utilized, that all waste is utilized 100% for energy and not least that innovative solutions like preinsulated pipes, large-scale solar water heating and large thermal storages are developed in Denmark.

Most cities from other countries have difficulties to plan and implement similar solutions, but the campuses can. Naturally, because campus owners want to find the best and most cost-effective solution for the whole campus including the buildings. Like Danish city councils, they want to plan the best solutions for their urban area.

A good example is the university campuses and the military campuses in the US. Several delegations have visited Ramboll in Denmark to be inspired and we have several assignments to help them.

Therefore, Denmark has an important role in the new IEA project, EBC Annex 73, Towards Net Zero Energy Public Communities, http://www.iea-ebc.org/projects/project?AnnexID=73

Ramboll is partner in the Danish consortium, which has been funded by EUDP in a 3-year project, and we are also participating in the US group of experts in the project. In April 2017 we organized a workshop in Copenhagen and worked on the application for the project.

Shortly after approval of the project, we had our first conference for exchange of experience in Washington DC, December 6, organized by the Energy Branch of US Army Corps of Engineers in co-operation with IDEA.

It was very inspiring for all of us, and I learned the importance of a new criteria for successful planning and design. Energy systems shall be not only low carbon and cost effective, but also resilient.


Happy Energy New year 2018. There is a global need for sustainable urban energy solutions

After a break I find it is time to continue my blog on sustainable urban energy solutions.

I can find at least the following three reasons:

Global awareness: The year 2015 was a global milestone. September 2015 UN agreed on the 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world. Developing sustainable energy solutions in cities have a positive impact on at least 3 of the goals: No. 7 Affordable and clean energy for all, No. 11 Sustainable cities and communities and No. 13 Climate action. December 2015 we finally got a formal climate agreement after a successful COP21 in Paris. Moreover it seems that these goals and the agreement has started a movement in the right direction, not only among most member states, but also among many leading cities and campuses.

Danish action. Already in 2012 the Danish Parliament agreed that the climate goal for Denmark is to be independent of fossil fuels in 2050. But how to do it in a cost effective and sustainable way? Based on several studies, the Energy Commission submitted a comprehensive report April 2017. The main recommendations are: that wind energy should be the dominating renewable energy source for Denmark and that the challenge will be: not to establish enough wind energy, but to utilize this fluctuating and unreliable energy source in an integrated energy system. Due to economy of scale, we know that sustainable urban energy solutions will be a main driver for establishing such an energy system in cities including the 4 energy carriers: electricity, district heating, district cooling and gas grids.

Denmark is a show case. Denmark has for decades been recognized being a frontrunner in the green transition, in particular within district heating and wind energy. We have in Ramboll strong experience in planning and implementing these technologies in Denmark and internationally and are pleased to present this experience. We have noticed that the number of study tour delegations we have hosted has increased in 2017. Not only from Europe, but from more than 15 countries all over the world. In 2017 we have also experienced an increasing market for our consultancy services in many countries. This indicates that many countries, cities and campuses have started to take action on the UN sustainable development goals and the Paris agreement.

The blog. In 2018 I will try to update my old blogs and continue with more interesting aspects of sustainable urban energy solutions. Please also look at http://www.ramboll.com/energy and https://stateofgreen.com/en/profiles/ramboll