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Danish District Heating Association

Danish District Heating Association (Dansk Fjernvarme) represents over 350 members all over Denmark, supplying 66 pct. of Danish households with district heating.

26. jan. 2021
Ældre end 24 mdr.
Tekst af Anders Balle Jørgensen,
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    Danish District Heating Association (DDHA) was founded in 1957 with the aim of organizing Danish district heating companies; facilitate cooperation between these members; and promote their interests towards authorities and other organizations, both nationally and globally. Today, the association holds 60 employees located in Kolding and Copenhagen. 

    Of the around 350 members of DDHA, the largest district heating companies are owned by Danish municipalities. The municipally-owned utilities deliver around two thirds of all district heating. The remaining district heating companies are predominantly consumer owned cooperatives.

    Around 1.8 million households (66 pct.) are supplied with district heating by DDHA’s members, covering around half the demand for space heating in all buildings. The goal is to supply 75 pct. of Danish households with district heating. Due to the volume of households supplied by district heating, it is considered a low-cost heating solution.

    District heating is a transmission system that can be connected to all forms of heat production. Currently, district heating is produced from sources which include: waste, wood chips, straw, wind, solar heating, geothermal energy, natural gas, oil, coal and surplus heat from industry. There is a total of approx. 60,000 km of district heating network piping - 30,000 km inlet and 30,000 km outgoing and it contains about a billion litres of hot water.

    District heating is regulated by a principle of non-profit and, consequently, DDHA is financed by member’s fees, which are calculated on the basis of member’s heat sales. In addition, DDHA handles publishing and projects and hosts several events including regional and national meetings, conferences, project days etc. This is both an important part of DDHA’s services to their members as well as an additional income source.


    The Danish district heating model

    The Danish district heating model is unique in its extensive range. District heating is part of Danish welfare history and it contributes to values beyond the economically measurable.

    In 2018, total turnover for DDHA was over €9 million. Especially DDHA’s seminars and training courses are important aiding tools in providing knowledge on various topics, ranging from production to management to legal counselling and economy.

    District Heating and green energy

    District heating is an efficient distribution system, which provides heating and benefits from large scale production. Consequently, district heating can utilize several different environmentally friendly energy sources.

    The share of fossil fuels used for district heating is decreasing by the year. Around 65 pct. of delivered district heating is green, sustainable heat produced from renewable energy sources. DDHA promotes the interests of its members with an aim of environmental protection and green solutions. Because district heating is a flexible system using several different energy sources it is capable of adjusting to sustainable and renewable energy sources. This is why district heating is an important part of the Danish target of being 100 pct. carbon neutral in 2050.

    Renewable energy sources include: Solar energy, geothermal, biomass, biodegradable waste, biogas, bio-oil, heat pumps, and electricity produced from renewable energy sources.

    Share of renewable energy in the Danish district heating sector 

    Source: Branchestatistik 2019 "Fjernvarmesektorens samfundsbidrag"

    Our mission

    DDHA promotes the interests of the members in a visible and efficient manner, aiming for environmental protection, energy efficiency and security of supply, and with due consideration to the economy and the district heating consumers.

    This is done by: 

    • Influencing rules and conditions of production, transmission, distribution and sales of district heating in Denmark
    • Ensuring development of the district heating sector
    • Gathering knowledge about district heating
    • Disseminating knowledge through meetings, training courses etc.
    • Information activities
    • Inspiring members to develop strategies and act strategically
    • Uniting district heating stakeholders in Danish District Heating Association
    • Solving common problems among members
    • Providing service to members

    Our vision

    DDHA is an active and visible stakeholder in the Danish energy sector. Hence, it has an overall objective of CO2 neutrality in the district heating sector in 2030 by providing 100 pct. sustainable energy. This will contribute significantly to the Danish objective of 70 pct. CO2 reductions by 2030 and the long-term goal of carbon neutrality in 2050.

    District heating is part of Danish welfare history and a symbol of how infrastructure and collective action can create a value added in society. Henceforth, DDHA would like to see district heating as an even more prevalent component when looking at the Danish energy sector.

    We need more sustainable cities, both in Denmark and globally, but this is not done without sustainable heating and cooling and we need district energy to accomplish this. This is why DDHA is also a stakeholder in the European political energy arena. Working with our European umbrella organization, EuroHeat & Power (EHP), we are making our marks on the European Union energy agenda and trying to influence the institutions towards a more district heating and cooling-friendly system. We have already succeeded in affecting the decision-making on several matters. See more on the EHP website.

    You can read more about Danish District Heating Association in teh EU and globally in the link below.

    Danish District Heating Association in the EU and globally

    Danish District Heating Association has international interests as well. Through our umbrella organization Euroheat & Power we seek to promote district heating on a European scale.

    Useful websites

    State of Green is a Danish non-profit partnership of both public and private organisations. Their purpose is to share Danish knowledge and solutions on clean and secure energy supply with international stakeholders. They accumulate information and knowledge on energy – this includes district energy and district heating. We suggest this publication on district energy.

    The Danish Energy Agency is an agency under the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. As part of their responsibilities towards the district heating sector they have issued a publication on Regulation and planning of district heating in Denmark to facilitate information about Danish district heating, its history and regulatory framework. In addition, they issued a more general publication on District energy drawing on Danish competencies built up over more than a century. 

    DBDH - District Heating Export Organization is the leading district heating export organisation in Denmark. In addition, they gather experience, expertise and knowledge on district heating to help facilitate information for several publications. Also, on a quarterly basis they publish the magazine Hot Cool, which covers subjects regarding energy and district heating and cooling. 

    EuroHeat and Power is the European umbrella organization of DDHA (see also Danish District Heating Association in the EU and Globally). 

    The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities plans and decides the regulatory framework of the district heating sector. This includes the 2018 Energy Agreement, agreed upon by the Danish parliament. 

    The Danish Utility Regulator is an independent organisation under the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities, acting as competition regulators of the Danish energy sector.