HOT|COOL NO. 3/2019 - "Big Markets: China and Poland


By Lars Gullev, Managing Director, VEKS

Climate chang eduction of CO2 em ustainable biom hasing out of fossil f ction of CO2 emissions, tainable biomass, ing out of fossil fuels imate changes, duction of CO2 emissions, stainable biomass, asing out of fossil fuels mate changes, Climate changes, reduction of CO2 emissions, sustainable biomass, phasing out of fossil fu ls Clim te changes, reduction of CO2 emissions, sustainable biomass, phasing out of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, have all become concepts that no politician or energy company today can ignore. The popular focus has simply become too significant. A wave runs through many countries: we must reduce the number of annual flights; we need to drive less by car; we need to eat less meat, as the production of meat requires more energy than the production of vegetable foods; we have to recycle more etc. This is all well and good - however, in many cases the starting point has not been aligned when discussing what needs to be done. In other countries, such as China, natural gas, electricity, geothermal heat, biomass, solar, industrial surplus heat, ultra- low emission coal (CHP), and nuclear power are defined as resources for “clean heating”. This definition says nothing about the emission of CO2 from the individual elements - for example, the production of electricity can be based on condensation operation with an efficiency of less than 40% based on coal as fuel. With such a rather broad definition, it is difficult to compare cross-border statistical material and to enter into debates about the energy systems of the future, as the framework conditions are very different from country to country. Just as we are challenged by electricity as “clean heating” in China, we have a general challenge in many countries regarding the use of biomass. If the biomass is obtained by deforestation without equivalent new planting in parallel, the overall climate account is not in balance. In many countries, including Denmark, natural gas is considered an equivalent alternative to district heating when determining the future heat supply. But this is not correct! Today, a very large part of district heating in Denmark is based on sustainable biomass - i.e. green district heating - while natural gas remains a fossil fuel. In other words: a "black fuel". It therefore makes no sense to compare "green district heating" with "black natural gas" when we have decided to phase out fossil fuels in the long run. It is crucial that the authorities (in Denmark, the Danish Energy Agency) – demand in their conditions for the future heat supply that "green district heating" is compared to "green gas". Such a comparison will quickly lead to a closer assessment of the potential for green gas - and where this gas should come from. It is therefore imperative that a common definition of sustainable biomass is established. In addition, it is crucial that biomass customers make the demand to all biomass suppliers that the biomass - both solid and liquid - must meet international, recognized criteria for sustainability. Otherwise, the energy sector will lose the credibility that is a prerequisite for gaining the public's acceptance of a green transition, of which a major part for the next 10-15 years will be based on phasing out natural gas, oil and coal in favour of sustainable biomass. J O U R N A L N 0 . 3 / 2 0 1 9

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