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District energy

District heating

Hamburg’s green city quarter

26. May 2009
HafenCity Green quarter

Solution provider


The global climate crisis caused by carbon emissions is a key threat to society and our planet. Danfoss’ energy-efficient and climate-friendly solutions enable a cost-effective green transition.

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To get a sustainable and economically advantageous long-term solution for heat supply in the city as well as its 2020 goal of reducing CO2 emission by 40%. Hamburg supplies 19% of all households with district heating, compared to only 13% in the remaining parts of Germany.


The aim has been to develop an energy supply concept that fulfils the strictest economic and environmental requirements. In essence, the concept is based on the combination of the existing, well-proven Hamburg district heating system with decentralised, local heating distribution units. The fuel used is mainly coal, along with household and industrial waste, natural gas, and very small quantities of light fuel oil. To further reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the existing HafenCity heating plan is equipped as a pilot plant with a steam turbine and a fuel cell. In addition, two new combined heat and power plants are planned in the green city quarter, Überseequartier, and at the cruise ship terminal. Buildings, which are mainly for residential use, will be equipped with thermal solar panels for the central domestic hot water supply.


The combination of heat and power ensures that surplus heat from the power plant is used to heat buildings in the HafenCity area instead of being wasted. This way, 90% of the primary energy can be utilised – a concept which could easily be expanded to other residential areas and cities. Compared to a conventional fossil heat supply, approximately EUR 3.7 million in fuel costs and 14,000 tons of CO2 are saved every year.

The district heating is distributed to buildings in HafenCity via Danfoss sub-stations and domestic hot water systems, ensuring that every single kilowatt of energy is used as efficiently as possible. The buildings are also equipped with other Danfoss technologies, which control the energy consumption of heating and cooling systems and deliver a comfortable indoor climate.