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Green Energy Association

Green Energy Association is a think tank established in 2012 by Danish District Heating Association (among others) to create knowledge about sustainable energy systems.

26. jan. 2021
Ældre end 24 mdr.
Tekst af Anders Balle Jørgensen,
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    Green Energy Association creates knowledge about sustainable energy systems. The association implements analyses and launches innovation projects that are able to clarify and document the important role played by district heating systems in a sustainable and integrated energy system.

    The work of Green Energy Association aims at making the Danish district heating industry more visible in the Danish political debate and contribute to increased export of green district heating solutions to foreign markets.

    Specifically, Green Energy Association works with:

    • Agenda-setting analyses and initiatives related to energy policy
    • The documentation of innovative technology projects
    • The development of innovative business models for foreign markets
    • Launch of demonstration towns and projects that have the potential to promote district heating exports
    • Building a knowledge bank about district heating
    • The dissemination of knowledge about district heating and its advantages

    Projects and studies 

    Green Energy Association is involved in several projects both nationally and internationally. These include projects funded by the both the 7th (FP7) and 8th (Horizon 2020) framework programmes on research and innovation of the European Union as well as projects funded by Innovation Fund Denmark and EUDP (a programme under the Danish Energy Agency). 

    The projects are of wide variety, but they are all aimed a creating sustainable energy systems in both a broader or more narrow sense. These include projects on Smart Cities initiatives, Smart Energy Systems, utilization of waste heat, or synergies between heating and electricity.

    Below are some examples of the projects done by Green Energy Association. 


    re-INVEST is a nationally funded (Innovation Fund Denmark) project on designing robust and cost-efficient investment strategies to facilitate an effective transformation towards a sustainable and 100 pct. renewable energy system within both Denmark and Europe.

    The project period is 2017-2020 and gathers universities and key players within the energy sector in redesigning the energy system completely by utilizing the synergies between heat , electricity and transport and breaking down the barriers. 

    For more information on the project or a subscription to the monthly newsletter read here


    ReUseHeat is a project financed by Horizon 2020, the 8th framework programme on research and innovation of the European Union.

    ReUseHeat is about demonstrating advanced, reproducible, scalable systems for utilization of waste heat from unconventional semi-urban sources. Four demonstration projects are supposed to show how utilization of low-temperature waste heat can increase the efficiency of district heating and cooling in all of Europe. 

    The role of Green Energy Association is primarily to provide knowledge on district heating and to communicate the results of the project i.a. by preparing a final accumulation of results in a guide on the utilization of urban waste heat. They have, among other things, composed a catalogue on 24 cases of urban waste heat recovery.

    For more information on the project or a subscription to the monthly newsletter read here

    Large electric heat pumps

    As part of the new energy policy framework agreement in Denmark the new heat planning system has abolished the obligation to use natural gas-based CHP (combined heat and power) for plants producing under 500 TJ/y. Instead the heat planning system will oblige Danish district heating to increased use of heat pumps.

    Consequently, large electric heat pumps have become an important part of the solution for the future framework conditions of district heating. Large electric heat pumps are key in the green transition of future district heating, since they provide opportunity to utilize low-temperature sources as renewable energy and waste heat.

    There is a tendency to overlook the importance and potential of district heating in creating solutions across energy systems. Consequently, there are two main reasons why future energy systems are in need of large heat pumps in the district heating grid.

    First, large heat pumps can gather energy from several other sources than directly from wind and solar power, e.g. seawater. Additionally, it can combine heat production with the gathering of waste heat. Second, large heat pumps creates value for future energy systems by creating a basis for sustainable change through the integration across energy systems. 

    Green Energy Association is working on heat pumps from different angles, trying to gather know-how to share knowledge on the use of large heat pumps. In this context, Green Energy Association has composed a manual as well as an inspiration catalogue, guiding its members on how to adapt to the new setting. 

    Green Energy Association has analysed the possibilities for how to renovate the district heating grid in an effort to future-proof district heating in Denmark. Here, the robustness of district heating will be increased by investments in large electric heat pumps, since they will be important drivers in the production of cheap and efficient heating and cooling.