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Solution by: Graasten District Heating, Arcon Solar, and Weiss Energy

Carbon-Neutral District Heating  In the suburban area Graasten, Denmark, solar power and biomass have replaced fossil fuels as the energy sources for the local district heating system.


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Homes and industrial buildings in the Graasten suburban area of Sonderborg in Denmark now receive heat derived exclusively from biomass and solar power. 20,000 m2 of solar collectors heat water, which is channeled into a grid of pipes used to heat homes and industrial facilities in the area.

ENVIRONMENTAL By 2050, solar power could produce more than 16% of the energy used for low-temperature heating annually. 2 THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

SOCIAL With the use of biomass or solar, district heating systems can limit or eliminate the need for polluting fossil fuel-fired boilers and power stations.

When the solar energy yield is insufficient, boilers that burn local and carbon-neutral straw take over. Solar panels on the facades of the Graasten District Heating building produce one-third of the electricity needed by the facility. WHY A SUSTAINIA100 SOLUTION? According to the International Energy Agency, heating accounts for 47% of global energy use, and district heating and cooling is identified as one of the key technologies that can make significant contributions to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollution.1 Since 2012, around 1,500 households and several commercial buildings have been connected to Graasten’s district heating system. The heating and hot water for these buildings is 100% carbon-neutral.

ECONOMIC Customers have saved substantially on their heating bill since the transition to carbon-neutral district heating. 3

“Green and CO2-neutral district heating secures a local and cheap solution for the next 20 to 30 years - a real win-win for the environment.” PETER MIKAEL STÆRDAHL, PLANT MANAGER, GRAASTEN DISTRICT HEATING




1, 2

IEA. “Solar Heating Cooling Roadmap.” 2012. 3

Energitilsynet. “Fjernvarmepriser.” 2015.




Sustainia100 2015  
Sustainia100 2015  

Get inspired by real solutions! The Sustainia100 study 2015 features 100 new stories from the forefront of sustainability innovation. Deploy...