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AP Moller Holdings teaming up with Danfoss for geothermal heating development in Denmark

Winter view in Copenhagen, Denmark (source: flickr/ Kristoffer Trolle, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 20 Jun 2018

Highlighting the geothermal potential in Denmark, estimated to be able to cover up to 30% of the country's district heating, Danish A.P. Moller Holdings - holding firm connected to one of the world's largest shipping firms is teaming up with Danish company Danfoss on geothermal district heating systems in the country.

In an release shared today, Danish company AP Moller Holdings, the investment arm of the A.P. Moller Foundation, connected to one of the largest shipping companies in the world A.P. Moller Maersk A/S, the company shares its view on the important role geothermal energy could play in the district heating supply in the country of Denmark.

Geothermal energy, as a renewable and currently untapped energy source, has the potential to cover approx. 30% of Denmark’s energy supply for district heating, equaling the heat consumption of 500,000 households. That is one of the promising claims from that A.P. Moller Holding makes. The company is seeking to introduce geothermal energy on a large scale in Denmark.

”We believe that geothermal energy can be as important for the green transition of our heating supply as wind has been for electricity! For the consumers, this means renewable heating in their radiators – similar to the renewable electricity in their power sockets. For our society, this means bringing a large renewable energy source into play and thereby supporting the phasing out of coal and gas. Geothermal energy can supply our houses with heating from the subsurface 365 days a year regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing,” says Samir Abboud who is in charge of the geothermal energy project in i A.P. Moller Holding. ”Geothermal energy is a naturally occurring energy source and can play a key role in Denmark’s green transition. There is of course no guarantee that we will succeed, however the potential is too great to not be pursued.”

A.P. Moller Holding has worked on the geothermal energy project since 2017 and put together a team of specialists with extensive experience from large, complex, and capital intensive projects developing the subsurface. Such competencies are key in order to exploit geothermal energy in Denmark. There are currently three minor geothermal plants in Denmark, but A.P. Moller Holding presents a new business model which differs from the existing projects:

”Firstly, our ambition is to utilize geothermal energy on a large scale so we can lower the costs and offer the district heating companies – and the consumers – renewable heating at competitive prices. Secondly, we see that interdisciplinary competencies are key in this type of large, complex, and capital intensive projects. We have acquired those competencies from many years of experience working with the subsurface all over the world,” says Samir Abboud.

A.P. Moller Holding’s business model means that A.P. Moller Holding is responsible for exploration, construction, and operation of the plants. Hence, the consumers will not end up paying the bill if things should not proceed as planned.

”It is vital that the responsibility follows the competencies. Our model is rather simple: We supply the warm water to the district heating companies who distributes to the consumers. This way, everyone does what they do best,” says Samir Abboud. ”Denmark is famous for a developed district heating system and well-run utility companies. We look forward to a good collaboration with them.”

A.P. Moller Holding has entered into a strategic partnership with Danfoss who are leading experts within district heating systems and energy efficiency. The ambition is to optimize the utilization of geothermal energy in district heating:

“We are very excited about partnering with A.P. Moller Holding to explore the possibility of utilizing the great potential of geothermal energy to provide sustainable district heating. Geothermal heat is one of the most cost- A.P. Moller Holding is the investment arm of the A.P. Moller Foundation. Our purpose is to exercise the Foundation’s role as an engaged owner, in the spirit of A.P. Møller, and to ensure that the Foundation can continue to contribute to society in the form of donations for generations to come. www.apmoller.com 2 effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions according to a new study by IRENA, the International Agency for Renewable Energy”, says Lars Tveen, President, Danfoss Heating Segment.

The geothermal potential is present several places in Denmark. It will take 5-6 years from the first exploration until the geothermal plant is ready to provide warm water to the district heating companies.

In May of this year, we reported on an increased interest in geothermal energy and development of geothermal district heating systems in Denmark. So these news today are great and will definitely spark further development and interest.

A.P. Moller Holdings is the investment arm of the A.P. Moller Foundation, named after the founder of A.P. Moller Maersk (shipping company). The holding firm owns about 42% in A.P. Moller Maersk A/S (shipping company), 20% in Dankse Bank A/S (one of the largest banks in Denmark), Maersk Tankers

Source: AP Moller