New partnership to develop the potential of geothermal energy for district heating

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Danfoss and A.P. Møller Holding A/S enter into strategic partnership. The partnership is part of A.P. Møller Holding’s project to develop and explore the potential of an industrialized approach to geothermal energy in Denmark.

The geothermal potential in Denmark is quite high and geothermal energy as a clean energy option has the potential to play a greater role in future energy systems. Geothermal heat supplements other renewable energy sources very well and can, when combined with heat pumps, cover 15-30 per cent of the heat demand in large district heating systems.

Geothermal energy has the potential to play an important role in the transition to a heating supply based on renewable energy sources. Fully built out geothermal energy, in combination with heat pumps, can cover 10-15 percent of Denmark's total energy need and play a key role in ensuring security of supply in the future's green energy supply.

“To utilize the great potential of geothermal energy as a clean and sustainable energy source on a larger scale than has been pursued so far presents exciting business perspectives. Potentially, geothermal energy can be for the heating system what wind is for the electricity system. And as district heating is a prerequisite for the use of geothermal heat, we see good business potential in this ambitious project, and are keen to support the project as it offers good opportunities to further develop our heating business as well as it offers attractive socio-economic perspectives of a large-scale shift to renewable energy,” says Lars Tveen, President Danfoss Heating Segment.

The Chairman of the Danfoss Board, Jørgen M. Clausen, inspired A.P. Møller Holding to investigate the potential of industrialized low-temperature geothermal energy in Denmark. Together, Danfoss and A.P. Møller Holding have a unique set of competences within district heating systems, energy supply and exploration, development and extraction of underground resources.

“I have been interested in geothermal energy in Denmark for many years. However, high-temperature geothermal energy is only available in few areas of Europe such as Iceland. The concept I have been developing is based on low-temperature geothermal energy utilized in a decentralized setup with many smaller entities, which makes it easy to fit in to urban areas. I am convinced that the combined expertise and competencies from A.P. Møller Holding and Danfoss will serve as the right outset to industrialize the utilization of low-temperature geothermal energy, which we have in abundance, to the benefit of Denmark,” says Jørgen M. Clausen.

The partnership with A.P. Møller Holding is anchored in Danfoss Heating and the segment has allocated a group of experts to the project to support overall in terms of our unique position and district heating insights as to energy supply and district heating systems in Denmark. Furthermore, the project group will focus on unveiling the tools and policy framework needed for unlocking the potential of geothermal energy in Denmark. You can read more about A.P. Møller Holdings geothermal energy project here.

Fact box

Sustainable district heating from the underground

  • According to a new study by the International Agency for Renewable Energy, IRENA, geothermal heat is one of the most cost-effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions. IRENA estimates that it is economically cheaper to increase the share of geothermal energy in the heating sector than to increase the proportion of biomass in the areas where geothermal resources are present.
  • Although the geothermal resources in the Danish subsoil are significant, there are only three smaller Danish geothermal plants. One of the reasons why geothermal systems are not widespread are the economic risks associated with the drilling.

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