Analysis of the possibilities of achieving carbon-neutral district heating from CTR in 2025

Denmark | July 2010 - August 2010

CTR, the Metropolitan Copenhagen Heating Transmission Company, has commissioned Ea Energy Analyses to make an assessment of the technical opportunities and the economic costs of reducing carbon emissions from the district heating system in Greater Copenhagen to zero before 2025.

1.1 million tonnes of CO2 was emitted from the district heating system in Greater Copenhagen in 2009. According to model calculations, the emissions will drop to 0.8 million tonnes in 2010 due to the commissioning of the biomass-fired unit one at Amager Power Plant. Furthermore, calculations in the project Long-term heat plan for Greater Copenhagen show that continued conversion of power plants to biomass, will further reduce carbon emissions to 0.4 million tonnes.

Carbon-neutral district heating is possible

The analysis concludes that it is technically possible to make district heating in Greater Copenhagen carbon-neutral. This will require establishment of new heat generating capacity, for instance in the form of two new geothermal plants, as well as conversion and decommissioning of existing fossil-fired plants.

The cost of conversion is estimated at DKK 350 million per year. The greater part of the costs is related to the conversion of peak-load and reserve capacity plants to biofuel and to the separation of oil products such as plastics from the waste. The greatest technical and organisational challenges could well be a complete separation of the waste.