Lessons from Denmark: how district heating could improve energy security

By District Energy posted 08-20-2017 00:00

  

Frederika Whitehead, The Guardian

Shoppers in Copenhagen, Denmark.

After the oil crisis of the 1970s, Denmark developed district heating schemes which heat homes more cheaply and efficiently. Photograph: Alamy

Summary

When the oil crisis hit in the winter of 1973 the price per barrel quadrupled, and countries that were heavily dependent on oil were in dire straits. Denmark was one such nation: more than 90% of its energy came from imported oil. Danish citizens shivered in their homes while factories were forced into temporary shutdowns, alternate street lights were switched off and driving was banned on a Sunday.

After that long and painful winter Denmark vowed to wean itself off oil imports, determined to improve its energy security. Ever since it has invested heavily in renewables, energy efficiency and “district heating”.

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