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District Heating and Cooling in Aalborg

Aalborg captures waste heat from industry and cools buildings through underground pipes

Aalborg operates a highly energy efficient coal power plant, known as Nordjyllandsverket, that produces both electricty for the grid and heat for the city’s district heating system. The district heating system circulates hot water benneath the city to homes and businesses, saving most homes from having to rely on individual home heating systems.

Previously privately owned and operated, Aalborg Municipality bought the power plant in 2016. The plant has an efficiency rate of up to 91%, using fuel approximately 20% more efficiently than older coal-fired plants. The city government realises that a transition away from coal energy is necessary so there is a strategic plan to gradually phase out dependence on the power plant and replace supply with renewable energy sources.

A phasing in of green technologies over time is the key part of Aalborg’s energy strategy. The plant creates waste heat that contributes to the district heating system, used to warm houses and businesses across the city, rather than simply being lost to the atmosphere. In addition, Aalborg has various district cooling systems that pump water through pipes underground, such as beneath old chalk mine lakes or the fjord, that naturally keep buildings cool with energy only used for pumping. The latest University Hospital is planning to use such as cooling system which is expected to be around 20-30 times more efficient than if the building relied on air-conditioning.

Read more about district energy in this white paper: District Energy

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City of Aalborg
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Alex Søgaard Moreno
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