Føns Nærvarme takes new steps towards even greener energy

17 December 2020 - Published by Dominique Dhondt
Føns Nærvarme (Føns Local Heating Plant - Denmark's smallest district heating plant) and its 49 consumers can look forward to becoming even greener. The small district heating plant is part of an EU project that provides support for green transition towards renewable energy. Participating in "Empower" will enable Føns Nærvarme to establish heat pumps that will make it possible in the future to get 60 percent of the energy from geothermal heat.

Chairman of Føns Nærvarme Ole Back is pleased that the long-standing dream of being able to establish heat pumps has now been made possible with EU funds. He hopes and expects that the project will also make heat cheaper, and hopes that it could make it more attractive for new consumers to join the local heating plant.

Researchers are following the project

Today Føns Nærvarme is running on recycled wood chips. The installation of heat pumps will make it possible to use both wood chips and heat pumps, depending on what is most favorable in terms of price.

Ole Back expects to be able to run with geothermal heat only during the summer. The rest of the year, the woodchip kettles must also run. It is also a great help for all the volunteers that the work effort for a large part of the year becomes significantly less.

The EU project is also a research project where researchers from the University of Southern Denmark will continuously monitor the energy network in Føns and analyze data from temperature measurements from sensors installed in the citizen’s homes.

The researchers must, in a simple way, investigate the effects of converting heat from two different energy sources, as is the plant in Føns. The heat pumps must make it possible to switch back and forth between burning wood chips and using the heat pumps, respectively, so that you heat with wood chips when the electricity is expensive, and heat with heat pumps when the electricity is cheaper.

Ole Back is very enthusiastic about the fact that the project might shed new knowledge. He hopes that the SDU researchers, who will monitor Føns Nærvarme's forthcoming geothermal conversion, can find solutions so that more villages can follow the same path.

The chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee, Morten Weiss-Pedersen: Potential to inspire other local areas

The chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee, Morten Weiss-Pedersen (K), looks forward to the project being realized, and he believes it has the potential to inspire other local areas to go in the same direction. Especially in the local areas where traditional district heating is not an option.

In the smaller villages, this could very well be a kind of role model. And if this project is a success, which I think it will be - it would be natural - to try to promote it in other urban communities says Morten Weiss-Pedersen.