Denmark is forcing the pace of the European heat turnaround: CHP’s share of power generation has risen to above 60 per cent over the past thirty years. District heating now dominates the Danish heat market, at 63 per cent market share. In addition, more than 70 per cent of district heating originates from renewable energy sources (including waste-heat from waste incineration) or is generated in natural gas CHP installations. Germany’s district-heating share is only 14 per cent, while CHP’s share of total power generation is estimated at around 17 per cent. Here at home, heat storage systems combined with CHP plants continue to be the exception, whereas such flexible generation systems have now been tried and proven in practice over many years in Denmark. In Germany, the gas grid was predominantly expanded, while in Denmark a heat turnaround was initiated following the oil crisis, thanks to the establishment of a long-term political framework for the setting-up of district-heating systems.
From the 1980s onward, legislation concerning heat supplies not only assured the replacement of heat-only boiler stations by heat+power cogeneration plants, but also placed obligations on the municipalities. This is also why Denmark is well ahead in research into CHP technologies. The Termis software package, for example, is an instrument which minimises the system’s supply temperature on a utilisation basis and thus cuts heat losses by around 10 per cent and CO2 emissions by 2 to 5 per cent. This software already controls heat supplies for more than 100 million residential units in more than 500 towns and cities around the globe.