HOT|COOL NO. 2/2020 - "Decarbonizing"

By: Jakob Zinck Thellufsen & Henrik Lund , Department of Planning, Aalborg University

District heating and cooling infrastructures are essential for a green transition. To make it happen cities andmunicipalities play a crucial role as they govern the local activities needed to implement renewable energy sources and facilitate reductions in energy demands. To force the local green transition in the 4th biggest city in Denmark, the Aalborg City Council asked the local university to write a plan for a 100% renewable energy system for the municipality – more efficient and at the lower socio-economic cost compared to the status-quo reference scenario, still relying on fossil fuels in power plants, engines, boilers, etc.

The plan is called The Smart Energy System for Aalborg. It shows how wind, solar, and renewable energy can supply all local demands – not only for electricity consumption but also for transportation, heating, and industry. The target is to achieve a 100% renewable energy system in 2050. The study is carried out by researchers from Aalborg University on the request of Aalborg Municpality. The project started in March 2018 and was finalized in 2020. Throughout the study, the municipality has been included in discussions and the work is used for their continuous planning of renewable energy sources, district heating grid development and other local energy planning issues.

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