1 Million m² of Solar Thermal Collector Area in Denmark for Solar District Heating
In September 2016, the Danish district heating organization published new data on solar thermal installations in Denmark. The performance is outstanding: About 1,003,024 m² were registered on the 21st of September 2016 operating at 85 district heating networks. The database also shows that solar thermal energy is profitable in light of fossil based heating supply. What is different in Denmark compared to Austria?
In Denmark, the solar thermal industry operates with heating prices between 3 and 5 Cent per KWh. Installations are large and enjoy economics of scale, such as the new record plant of 156,000 m² in Silkeborg, Denmark, with a peak load of 110 MW. Currently, Denmark is the benchmark-country on the world market, but by no means the only country pushing for large scale solar thermal plants. Still, Denmark has implemented a high tax rate for fossil fuels to make community projects on solar thermal networks attractive and independent of government funding.
As of today, the city of Graz, Austria, is about to provide a feasibility study for an even bigger solar thermal plant to feed into the district heating network. The project is called “Big Solar” and calculates with 450,000m² collector area to cover up to 20% of the energy demand of the district heating network in Graz. SOLID has been working on large scale solar thermal systems for district heating and cooling systems for years. The new IEA SHC Task 55 will provide data on installations in Austria, China, and Denmark to provide technical and economic solutions for a competitive solar thermal large scale market.