In the suburban area of Graasten in Denmark, solar power and biomass have replaced fossil fuels as the energy sources for the local district heating system.
Homes and industrial buildings in the Graasten suburban area of Sonderborg in Denmark now receive heat generated exclusively from biomass and solar power. Solar collectors totalling 20,000 m2 are used to heat water, which is piped and used to heat homes and industrial facilities in the area.
When the solar energy yield is insufficient, boilers that burn locally-sourced and carbon-neutral straw take over. In addition, PV solar panels on the facades of the Graasten District Heating building produce one-third of the electricity needed by the facility.
Since 2012, around 1,500 households and several commercial buildings have been connected to Graasten’s district heating system. Customers have saved substantially on their heating bill since the transition to carbon-neutral district heating. The heating and hot water for these buildings is 100% carbon-neutral.
Why you should care
According to the International Energy Agency, heating accounts for 47% of global energy use. District heating and cooling is identified as one of the key innovations that can make a significant contribution to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollution.