District Energy in Denmark

  • Country Profiles
  • 01 May 2017


District heating dominates as a heating solution for households, with 64% of the market, up from 61.8% in 2010. The number of households connected to district heating has grown with almost 113,000 over the period 2010-2016. Denmark has committed great investment to district energy, including 500 million EUR for district heating in 2015.


Production of district heating has grown approximately 3.9 % in the period 2005 to 2014, but behind that figure lies a major shift in energy input. The use of renewable energy in district heating has grown from a share of 34.4 % in 2005 to 49.1 % in 2014. In the same period, the share of fossil fuels in district heating has consequently been reduced not only overall (- 20.2 %), but for all fuel categories. As shown in the graph below, district heating satisfies 64% of residential heat demand in Denmark. In Copenhagen, even 98% of all buildings are connected to district heating.



Regarding CHP in electricity generation, the share was 57% in 2015. Within district heating, CHP generation has seen a decrease in recent years, which has fallen from a peak in the period 1997 to 2006 from more than 80% to around 72%. CHP plants are encountering challenging economic conditions, due to the availability of cheap Nordic electricity.


Denmark has long-term policy goals for Danish energy supplies to further progress to more renewable energy sources and the government aims to eliminate fossil fuel use in electricity and heat by 2035. Heat pumps, driven by renewable electricity, are expected to provide a major input for district heating, perhaps accounting for around one third of the heat by 2050. Waste-to-energy is foreseen to provide a stable base load of heat production towards 2050 as well, perhaps covering up to 25% of annual total heat production.



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Useful links:
Danish District Heating Association (Dansk Fjernvarme)

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