Denmark has pioneered renewable energies since the country revolutionised its energy sector in the mid 1980s. Based on this model, efforts are underway in Germany to increase the share of renewable energies to 18 per cent by 2020. Hamburg, the capital of wind, is attractive in terms of renewable energy and the proximity to Denmark has prompted a rising number of Danish companies e.g. Danfoss, DONG Energy and Vestas to set up branches in the Hanse city. They are also members of Hamburg’s renewable energies cluster (Clusters Erneuerbare Energien Hamburg – EEHH). The following gives an overview:
Danfoss – intelligent networking and thermal energy storage
Danfoss is considered a pioneer in the sector. The company’s products and services are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control, mobile machinery and district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Last year, the company installed a comprehensive CO2 heating and cooling system, for instance, in a Danish supermarket. Thanks to intelligently connected cooling devices, the generated heat is conduced wherever it’s needed. Now, the supermarket supplies 20 households in the neighbourhood with heat. Danfoss is also active in thermal energy storage. Tanks store hot water for several days and the energy gained is fed into the neighbourhood’s energy system.
DONG Energy – offshore pioneer
DONG Energy is the world’s largest developer and operator of wind farms at sea. Some 25 years ago, the company built the world’s first offshore wind farm in Vindeby and has been a driver of the sector ever since. DONG Energy has built over 1,000 wind farms worldwide. In May 2017, the offshore wind farm Burbo Bank Extension went into operation using the new V164-8.0 MW turbines each of which produce more energy than the entire Vindeby wind park.
Vestas – leading producer of wind turbines
Vestas has produced, built and provided maintenance for wind turbines since 1979. So far, Vestas has installed more than 83 GW in 75 nations. In 2017, Vestas Joint Venture MHI Vestas Offshore Wind expanded its production capacities for offshore wind turbines V164 in the Danish port of Esbjerg. The wind energy plant can produce 9.5 MW. In late 2016, the company’s prototype generated 216,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in 24 hours marking a world record.
Expanding German-Danish energy trade
In recent years, grid development did not keep pace with the expansion of renewable energies in the region and led to a downturn in German-Danish electricity trade, according to the German Agency of Renewable Energy (Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien e.V.) in Berlin. Efforts are now underway to boost trade and both countries have agreed on a solution that foresees gradual, increased trade and guarantees network security at the same time. The long-term objective is to use cross-border power lines fully for electricity flows as soon as internal grid bottlenecks have been removed.
Rainer Baake, State Secretary in the German Ministry of Economics and Energy, pointed out: “Denmark is our most important partner in terms of achieving the energy transition and moving the European domestic market forward. This agreement sends two main signals: First, Germany is tackling the challenges of grid expansion in close agreement with neighbouring countries and is solving them without encumbering trade. Secondly, Germany is undertaking enormous efforts towards expanding the network and moving the energy transition forward in Germany and Europe.“