HOT|COOL NO. 3/2023 "Technology and Sustainability"


By John Tang Jensen, Senior Advisor Danish Embassy London

Often decision-makers and poli- ticians miss that low energy costs are a combination of low energy prices and low energy consump- tion. The primary learning is that low energy costs can be achieved if industry, heating, and electricity sectors are integrated by establish- ing district heating networks able to collect losses, save consumption and provide flexibility. This article explores 20 learnings that will lead to low energy costs for industry and consumers if decision-makers go for it.

It is often the ambition of governments to have the cheapest energy prices of all. The purpose of this understandable and, by most people, approved target is to ensure that the industry is competitive, and that energy is affordable for consumers. In this context, energy for industry and consumers are defined as electricity and fuels for processes, transportation, and buildings. When setting low-cost targets like this, most governments look at electricity and fuel prices, and the target is to hold these prices below or on the same level as in other countries. Some countries recognise it as a matter of low fuel and elec- tricity prices and lowering consumption in industry, vehicles, and buildings, i.e., if the consumption can be lower than in other countries, the costs will be lower if prices are the same. Standards for equipment and buildings have been developed in most countries, and the need for energy per produced piece of goods, per transported km, or heated sqm has decreased. Still, the population, consumption of goods, vehicles, and total square meters of buildings have increased simultaneously, and in most countries, the total energy demand hasn't decreased significantly.

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