FORESIGHT Summer/Autumn 2017 - selected teaser

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Spending pennies to save pounds

Investors hungry for offshore wind

Circular funding of energy savings

The dangers of using a sharp instrument





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20.07.2017 - 18.10.2017


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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Peter Bjerregaard, EDITORIAL ADVISER & CONTENT EDITOR Lyn Harrison PROJECT MANAGER Kasper Thejll-Karstensen ART DIRECTOR Trine Natskår PHOTO EDITOR Lars Just PHOTO Lars Just Rasmus Hjortshøj COVER PHOTO Lars Just WRITERS Mads Krarup Regner Hansen Sofie Buch Hoyer Rasmus Thirup Beck Jesper Tornbjerg Karin Jensen Andrew Burger William Anthony Oscar Fitch-Roy Tobias Nielsen ILLUSTRATION Anders Morgenthaler Frode Skaren

FORESIGHT is made in Denmark and published quarterly

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Waste not, want not The cheapest unit of energy is the one never used. The wisdom of this long accepted truth is indisputable. Yet it is not saving energy but renewable energy that attracts most investment and dominates the debate on emission reductions. The challenge of integrating wind and solar power in the energy system excites the human spirit in ways that changing light bulbs and insulating buildings never will. Even so, the fact remains that investing in technology that more efficiently uses each unit of energy produced is often the most effective and cheapest way of reducing carbon emissions. The potential of what is simply called “energy efficiency” to mitigate the rise in global temperature is enormous. In 2015, the US, by using energy more efficiently, reduced electricity consumption by more than was generated from all sources except gas and coal. Indeed, half of global greenhouse gas reduction in 2030 will be achieved by energy efficiency measures, predicts the International Energy Agency. The lack of interest in exploiting the untapped potential of energy efficiency is more than baffling, it is an economic anomaly. The return on every dollar invested in energy efficient appliances, insulating buildings and automated control of electricity consumption lies in the range of $2 to $4. When investment in reducing energy bills is a matter of plain commonsense and economic gain, why are companies and consumers failing to act? The answer lies in the disappearance of the economic benefits of energy efficiency into a Bermuda triangle of muddled and contradictory investment incentives, lack of information and regulatory barriers. The dismantling of the triangle lies with governments. Subsidies to fossil fuel energy should cease and the cost of pollution and climate damage should be added to its end-price. Anything less is a failure of good governance and good business. By removing all energy subsidies and applying the polluter pays principle, renewable energy and fossil fuel technologies get to compete on a level playing field. What's more, consumers are exposed to the real price of energy, which today tends to look too cheap to be worth saving. Getting prices right makes visible the invisible hand of energy efficiency. Energy saving efforts sparked by the oil-price spikes of the 1970ies have been a success story largely unseen and unrecognised. It is time to realise the hidden opportunities of energy efficiency and to reap the rich rewards.

ENVIRONMENTALLY AWARE MAGAZINE PRODUCTION Using paper from sustainably managed forests. Postal deliveries of single copies in a 100% biodegradable plastic wrapper.

Peter Bjerregaard EDITOR-IN-CHIEF





Two-thirds of the business potential in energy efficiency remains untapped; sales figures for plug-in electric cars; cheaper by half to cut emissions with energy saving than green electricity; renewables push coal off the UK grid for a day; BP data reveals green energy trends; wind power supply not that susceptible to still winter weather; fuelish energy subsidies persist Pages 6-7 HOMES WANTED FOR POWER HUNGRY DATA CENTRES

Countries with cool climates and reliable supplies of green electricity are favoured locations for these beating hearts of the digital age Page 8





The payback period for energy saving investments can be painfully long and the risk of no payback frighteningly big. There are ways to tear down both barriers Page 14 IN THE LIGHT OF BETTER KNOWLEDGE

Despite initial opposition, phasing out incandescent light bulbs has cut cost and improved quality Page 16 SCANDINAVIA SHOWS THE WAY FOR CLEAN TRANSPORT

Norway has the world's highest proportion of EV owners and Denmark is electrifying ship propulsion. It is time to change the way electricity is billed for

The value of energy-saving improvements at a shopping mall is sufficient to pay back the loan from the contractor that carried out the work and financed it

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An international group of companies has come together in a Danish experiment that sells the power stored in parked electric cars to the grid operator for use as frequency regulation Page 32


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What it takes is the right information and the right prices Page 28

A unique engineering project has raised the bar for efficient energy capture from incineration of garbage and provided a sports facility in an urban location Page 46


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Waste pollution in product lifecycles is set to ease: beer bottles made from wood‚ toilet rolls from sour milk; biodegradable plastic packing; and LEGO bricks in a new material

Once seen as exotic fare, offshore wind investments have become a staple diet for pension funds. New types of investor are moving their chairs up to the table

Better engineering everywhere can cut industrial energy use in all applications



By pricing the value of wind energy according to when it is needed most, markets stimulate the development and sale of wind turbines configured to generate output over longer periods in lower winds, reducing the variability of their production Page 36



Achieving negative emissions could bridge the gap for meeting global warming targets, but could also be a dangerous distraction Page 62 THE DANGERS OF USING A SHARP INSTRUMENT

Auctions of power purchase contracts as a price-setting mechanism for wind energy are proving to be sharp tools for driving down cost. But sharp tools need handling with care Page 64


The big picture Lack of space in cities restricts opportunities for outdoor exercise, resulting in city-dwellers wasting energy on journeying to the outskirts in search of open areas. The energy saving solution to the problem is close by, however. Rooftops are readily available outdoor space that can be used for sporting activities. In central Copenhagen the roof of a multi-storey car park has been transformed into a 2400 square metre adult fitness zone where people can run and workout all day, all year, 24 metres above the ground. The all-weather exercise surface is produced from the granulated remains of old tyres and Nike shoes. PHOTO Rasmus Hjortshøj / Coast studio




TEXT Sofie Buch Hoyer PHOTO Lars Just ILLUSTRATION Frode Skaren

Energy efficiency


Energy efficiency

The payback period for energy saving investments can be painfully long and the risk of no payback at all frighteningly big. The main contractor on Europeʼs largest energy performance project has provided a solution. Such is its confidence in the punching power of efficient new technologies like LED light bulbs it is guaranteeing the energy savings — and promising to pay the difference should they not be achieved


n the outskirts of Copenhagen, Hvidovre Hospital can be seen in a whole new light. Staff, patients and visitors moving about the hospital wards find their way lit by the soft glow of high colour-temperature light bulbs. It is as if they were bathed in natural daylight. The greatly improved hospital lighting is part of a major Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project that has taken the record as Europe’s largest. Some 15,000 new LED-bulbs have done away with the dismal yellow light cast by the hospital’s old fluorescent strip-lighting. The project is also providing the hospital with 5000 additional solar cells and improved ventilation, heating and cooling to reduce its energy consumption by 33%. The energy renovation will save the hospital €2.2 million a year and the environment from a large quantity of needless CO2 emissions. Carrying out the €23 million project is German industrial engineering giant Siemens, which is guaranteeing the energy savings. If they are not achieved, it will pay the difference. “We will use the promised savings to pay off the inFORESIGHT

vestment over time, which in ten years will have cost us almost nothing,” says the hospital's environmental manager, Lars Munch Reul.

RISK AND BENEFITS SHARED The EPC or Energy Saving Company (ESCO) model, in which the customer shares the risk and financing of an energy saving investment with the energy supplier or the technology provider, is setting new standards for building renovation. By outsourcing an entire energy efficiency project, from development to financing to monitoring, the ultimate beneficiary does not have to shoulder full responsibility for every step, a process which often consists of multiple procurements over several years. “The potential for reducing and reorganising energy consumption in buildings through e.g. EPC agreements has still to be fully explored. Often it brings positive spin-off benefits, such as a healthier indoor climate, improved productivity and greater comfort,” says Jesper Jensen at the Danish Building Research Institute. 15

Energy efficiency



Industrial electric motors alone use a third of the world’s electricity, much of it in profligate use of energy that can be reduced with good engineering solutions. The world’s engineering industry has a major contribution to make in bringing down industrial energy use in all applications, everywhere President Donald Trump might have pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change but that will not reduce demand for General Electric’s wide-ranging energy efficiency solutions, says company global executive director Deb Frodl. “Clean energy technology is such an essential part of business and government strategies all over the world. Renewables are now mainstream and I think that we will see the industry continue to lead the clean energy transition,” she adds. Twelve years ago, when GE was considered one of the largest industrial polluters, the company launched a multi-billion dollar green brand, Ecomagination, which accelerated its move towards cleaner energy like wind and solar power as well as technologies that improve environmental well-being, including aircraft engines with lower emissions and better water purification technology. The company has particularly focused on wind power. It re-entered the wind turbine manufacturing business in 2002 through the purchase of bankrupt energy giant Enron’s wind division. More recently it bought Danish LM Wind Power, a long established leading supplier of rotor blades to the wind industry and acquired a one-time Spanish wind turbine manufacturer through its merger with globalised French engineering company Alstom, which had earlier bought the wind firm. Development of digital technology to support GE’s global business empire is a core company mission, wind power no exception, and it is seeking to expand its role as a digital pioneer. “We are now able to connect people with industrial machines through analytics and data for better business outcomes and we strongly believe that co-developing solutions is the best way to accelerate decarbonisation,” Frodl says.

SPENDING MONEY TO SAVE MONEY Globally, the industrial sector is responsible for around one-third of primary energy consumption 24

The big engine that could In 1933, the world’s largest diesel engine was delivered to the HC Ørsted power plant in Copenhagen, where it operated for the next 30 years. It was last put to use during a power failure in 2003 that hit Copenhagen and large parts of Sweden when it was used to bring the power system back up again. The now pensioned engine has a maximum generating capacity of 15 MW

and greenhouse gas emissions. Industry will have to significantly increase its energy productivity by improving energy efficiency and switching to low-carbon or carbon-free energy sources if the global climate change mitigation targets agreed on under the umbrella of the United Nations are to be met. While 60% of the potential for energy efficiency improvements in the industrial sector is yet to be realised, information, financial, and regulatory barriers often prevent enterprises from fully exploiting the opportunities. According to Tim Farrell at the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, which serves as the energy efficiency hub for Denmark's Sustainable Energy for All initiative, there is a general lack of appreciation of the value of energy efficiency in improving productivity and the economy. “There is a shift in the narrative in the policy making arena towards considering multiple benefits of energy efficiency such as job creation and improvements in health and well-being in development of energy efficiency actions. Identifying and prioritising these multiple benefits can redirect the investment flow towards energy efficiency projects,” says Farrell. The broader benefits of energy efficiency can be difFORESIGHT

Energy efficiency





Variable pricing reduces variability of wind production


s electricity markets have evolved to integrate ever more wind power, the technology has also evolved in response to changing economic realities. Wind turbines today can be delivered in a variety of combinations of generator size and rotor diameter, providing the option to configure them for specific sites and markets and to deliver energy that has most value to the power system. The irony of wind generation is that on power systems with high shares of wind energy in the mix, the windier the weather, the lower the market value of the electricity produced. Swamp demand for a product with too much of it and market prices will fall. Electricity is no exception. Back in the days when wind turbines were still classed in the “promising” category, designers focused on creating machines that would prove their value by generating lots of electricity. The bigger the generator incorporated into a wind turbine, the more electricity it produces when the resource is at its best — in a good blow. Windy days often mean colder weather and more demand for electricity, pushing up its value. Particularly in northern Europe, the timing 36

of wind supply and consumer demand seemed like a match made in heaven. The market logic gets turned on its head, however, when sufficient numbers of wind turbines are installed to swamp the available capacity of the transmission network to take the electricity on windy days from where it is being generated to the centres of load where it is needed. Follow that thought into a future when all electricity comes from renewable sources, and installing turbines and grid technology dimensioned, at extra cost, for high volumes of generation delivered for short periods when electricity supply may be abundant, potentially defies economic sense.

BIRTH OF THE LOW-WIND TURBINE The challenge of “too much of a good thing” on the horizon is giving encouragement to the further development of wind turbines that operate closer to their rated capacity for longer periods in relatively lower winds. Instead of capturing maximum energy from the maximum wind resource, a wind turbine that increases the average power delivered over a longer period can make better use of times when market FORESIGHT

TEXT Andrew Burger and Lyn Harrison PHOTO Lars Just

By pricing the value of wind energy according to when and where it is produced, markets stimulate the development and sale of wind turbines that are configured to generate steady volumes of energy over longer periods of time, reducing their variability of supply





By reusing the energy created at nearly every stage of the waste incineration cycle, a unique engineering project in Denmark’s capital city has raised the bar for efficient energy capture. It also demonstrates how industrial scale waste incineration can be pleasantly integrated into an urban setting and double as a leisure facility to provide added value

TEXT Wiliam Anthony PHOTO Lars Just

A waste incinerator with a ski slope on the roof






porting an all season ski run on its dramatically slanting roof, the Amager Bakke waste-to-energy facility just south of Copenhagen’s city centre has not only set new standards for urban design and civic amenity, but also for capturing energy from the combustion of garbage. “We claim that it is the world’s most energy efficient waste-to-energy facility. We are driving energy recovery to its maximum potential,” says Tore Hulgaard at Ramboll, the Danish engineering consultant company for the power plant. “The environmental standards are unprecedented. Air emissions are far below limit values typical of waste-to-energy facilities,” he adds. The Amager facility is designed to produce heat, electricity, recyclable materials, and water from incinerating solid municipal waste, processing up to 560,000 tonnes annually or 35 tonnes an hour for each of the plant’s two lines. As part of greater Copenhagen’s integrated district heating system, it will supply low-carbon electricity to 550,000 people and heat to 140,000 households. About 95% of all buildings in the area, a combined 70 million square metres of floor area, are heated from the communal district heating network. On very cold days, the remaining 5% is supplied by back-up boilers. “Actually, there’s nothing new in the plant’s basic process of waste-to-energy, but the energy reclamation is twenty percent more efficient than the old plant,” says Morten Kramer Nielsen from Amager Resources Centre (ARC), the company behind the investment. The total net energy efficiency rate of 107% is among the highest in the world for waste-to-energy technology, he adds. “The new plant’s innovations come from how it reuses the energy again and again, increasing efficiency,” explains Kramer Nielsen.

EFFICIENCY EDGE Amager Bakke will recover resources that otherwise would not be recycled. More than 90% of the metal in the bottom ash will be filtered out, leaving a product for use by the construction industry that easily meets strict requirements for heavy metal content and leaching behaviour. Total true recycling will exceed 50%. The facility will also produce much more clean water than it uses through energy recovery using a twostep, flue-gas condensation system, which includes a heat pump. The water recovered will be as clean as distilled water. The flue gas condensation raises energy recovery around 20% — and that 20% gives Amager Bakke the edge. 48




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