City of Aalborg stresses urgency of going all in for utilising geothermal for heating

City of Aalborg stresses urgency of going all in for utilising geothermal for heating Aalborg view, Denmark (source: flickr/ tomstravelscom, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 10 Dec 2020

The local utility of the city of Aalborg in Denmark, stresses that it ambitious energy plans for a green transformation are not allowing for any delay, particularly as it comes to the utilisation of geothermal energy for heating.

The city of Aalborg in the north of Denmark’s Jutland region is in the process an ambitious, green transformation of heat production and is on the threshold of making decisive decisions about investments in the green technologies of the future, as reported locally. “We can not wait until 2022 if geothermal heat is to be part of the future in Denmark,” says Aalborg Forsyning (the local utility). Aalborg is the country’s fourth largest city with an urban population of 140,897.

The restructuring of heat production in Aalborg is already far in the concrete planning of alternatives to the coal-fired Block 3 at Nordjyllandsvaerket. The heat production of the future in Aalborg must be based on a mix of green technologies, including eg heat pumps, heat storage and – hopefully – geothermal energy.

The utility is positive that the Finance Act now signals a political will for geothermal energy to be part of future heat production in Denmark. Chairman of the Board of Aalborg Forsyning, Lasse Olsen, says: “It is very gratifying that there is now a concrete and clear focus on geothermal energy. Now we want to sign up positively and constructively in the upcoming work on the framework for geothermal energy. In this context, it is crucial that we can have a clear understanding of what to expect. The next six months will be absolutely crucial.”

Exactly the time is crucial. In November, Aalborg Forsyning sent out tender material for the establishment of a 100 MW thermal turn key geothermal plant in Aalborg. The tender process will result in precise prices for Aalborg’s heat consumers. However, Aalborg Forsyning has an expectation that geothermal energy with the current framework conditions is not economically competitive with other and less efficient technologies. Therefore, clarification of the future framework conditions is needed quickly so that the necessary investment decisions can be made.

“In Aalborg, we want to help promote the untapped potential of geothermal energy in Denmark. But we also need to take into account that the heating price must be reasonable for our heating customers. We have previously informed the Minister of Climate, Energy and Supply that our clear expectation is that support is needed to start geothermal energy if we want to focus on geothermal heat in Denmark. The Finance Act stipulates that it will take two years before we can expect a clarification. We need clarity already next year, ”says director of Aalborg Forsyning, Soren Gais Kjeldsen.

Aalborg Forsyning will receive a final, contractual offer from a possible supplier in February 2021.

Source: DIT Aalborg