Photo: Ulrik Jantzen
Photo: Ulrik Jantzen

Intelligently controlled energy spells end to wasted resources

Earlier today saw the inauguration of EnergyLab Nordhavn, a new full-scale smart city energy lab in Copenhagen. Participating at the event were representatives from ministries, the business and university communities. Among the guest speakers were Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen and EUDP Chairman of the Board Torkil Bentzen.

Tuesday, April 28 marked the kick-off of the demonstration project ‘EnergyLab Nordhavn—new energy infrastructures in cities’ in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn district. Over the next four years, the project will demonstrate how electricity, heating, energy-efficient buildings and electrical transport can be incorporated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system.

This is the first time it has been possible to conceive a project of this magnitude focusing on different types of sustainable energy supply in an urban area. The aim is to develop innovative business models, new energy technologies and intelligent operating solutions. The project will also examine how to coordinate electricity and heating system operations, store energy, construct low-energy buildings optimized in relation to energy markets, and introduce technologies with flexible alternation between energy sources.

“All too often we see a huge waste of resources and the fact that we don’t have a holistic view of water, heating, electricity, transport, and waste is detrimental to the environment. Denmark already leads the way when it comes to intelligent energy solutions, but we need to become even better at exploiting the energy we produce to benefit our environment and economy. This project marks an important step towards the energy system of the 21st century,” says Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Minister for Climate, Energy and Building.

Exploiting up-to-date knowledge
Funded by EUDP and with a budget of DKK 129 million, EnergyLab Nordhavn is supported by DTU, City of Copenhagen, CPH City & Port Development, HOFOR, DONG Energy, Balslev, ABB, CleanCharge, METRO THERM, Glen Dimplex, and PowerLabDK.

According to Jacob Østergaard, one of the initiators of EnergyLab Nordhavn and professor at DTU Electrical Engineering, all the relevant partners have been brought together to find solutions at component, infrastructure and system level:

“Our broad partner base means that researchers, businesses and authorities can work together to exploit up-to-date knowledge. The project not only cements Denmark’s international leadership in the field of intelligent energy solutions benefiting enterprises, society and the environment, but also helps to strengthen Denmark’s green growth, exports and the creation of knowledge-based jobs.”

Model for other towns and cities
The vision is for the concept to become a model for other towns and cities around the world engaged in converting to renewable energy and low-energy solutions. The project is very much in line with Copenhagen’s climate plan to become carbon neutral by 2025, says Copenhagen’s Lord Mayor, Frank Jensen:

“EnergyLab Nordhavn is a concrete example of how Copenhagen is working with research institutions and businesses to become carbon neutral by 2025. We want to show how to convert an energy system efficiently to ensure integration and optimal utilization of renewable energy. More specifically, the project can result in smooth-running traffic, healthier and better buildings, and a greener urban environment. The vision is for our model to become the blueprint for cities all over the world wanting to become sustainable low-energy cities.”