energylab nordhavn v. cph climate solutions

Cities are the game changers when it comes to securing a sustainable future

Wednesday 06 Sep 17


Jeanette Irene Nielsen
Senior Executive Officer
+45 93 51 16 04

EnergyLab Nordhavn

The project “EnergyLab Nordhavn – new urban energy infrastructures” will develop and demonstrate future energy solutions. The project utilizes Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a full-scale smart city energy lab and demonstrates how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system. The project participants are: DTU, City of Copenhagen, CPH City & Port Development, HOFOR, Radius, ABB, Balslev, Danfoss, CleanCharge, METRO THERM, Glen Dimplex and the PowerLabDK facilities. The project is supported by EUDP (Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme) and runs from 2015-2019.
Dazzled in sun and nice temperatures Copenhagen was for once this year on its best behavior when more than 350 people from all over the world met at the CPH Climate Solutions 2017 conference hosted by the City of Copenhagen. The overall theme for the conference was “Cities in transition for a sustainable future” and after opening remarks from Morten Kabell, Mayor of technical and Environmental Affairs the word was passed on to Bruce Katz, Inaugural Centennial Scholar, The Brookings Institution and Connie Hedegaard, former Climate and Energy Minister and the EU’s first Climate Commissioner.

In the joined keynote speak Katz and Hedegaard discussed how important it is that cities takes leadership and Katz pointed out that “cities are a network of leaders and when the governments doesn’t act they (the cities) will find other actors to cooperate with” – perhaps referring to the present leadership in the US. Hedegaard pointed out “that to succeed we need to get rid of silo thinking” which she pointed out as one of the bigger challenges today.

That is why it is vital that academic institutions, private corporations and government agencies form partnerships and work together across sectors both developing new technologies and not least removing any legislative obstacles for implementing change. Such a partnership is EnergyLab Nordhavn, a project consisting of companies from both the public and private sector including the City of Copenhagen, By & Havn and not least several departments from DTU – all working together developing the future integrated energy system.

The sustainable future starts in the cities
In the panel debate representatives from two major European cities, Essen and Oslo met with the CEOs from COWI and ABB Denmark to discuss the roles and responsibilities of cities. Both Oslo and Essen pointed out that changes take time. However, both cities have now experienced actual results of the sustainability initiatives that have been implemented. For example, in Oslo last year more travels were for the first time made by public transportation than by car. Lars-Peter Søbye, CEO in COWI made the point that it is important that cities in the future are designed for the right energy solutions and that the people living there are part of the development.

Claus Madsen, CEO in ABB Denmark, mentioned that ABB is proud to be part of the EnergyLab Nordhavn project, one of the major EUDP funded projects. He referred to the project as a complex cooperation with many stakeholders and when asked by the facilitator whether that is good or bad he said that it is needed because it is not just a piece of technology you want to have implemented. On that note Madsen argued how important it is that industries and cities work together. He also argued that the boldest decision that have moved the most, are the decisions made top down, but the implementation can’t happen without engaging the local communities.

Visiting a true living lab
As part of the climate conference a group of 40 participants visited Nordhavn on Tuesday morning to learn about the full scale living lab - EnergyLab Nordhavn. During the two hour tour the group listened to presentations from Thomas Nielsen, Director of Communications & Advancement, Copenhagen International School (CIS); Kristian Honoré, energy planner at HOFOR who presented the demonstrations in low-temperature district heating; Rasmus Brandt Pedersen, CSO, CleanCharge discussing electric transportation and Jane Hegner Mortensen, Project Manager, By & Havn who told the story about the development of the Nordhavn area.

We hope that the visitors enjoyed the tour and took home some of our learnings on future energy solutions.