In just three hours, the surface of the Earth receives an amount of solar energy equivalent to the annual world energy consumption . . .
Thermal solar heating is a well-known and efficient technology that is capable of producing quick results when it comes to issues on the national and international political agendas, such as increasing the use of renewable energy, reliability of supply (rising oil prices and oil shortages) and CO2 emission reductions.
In future, we will see a multitude of new applications for solar heating in addition to space and water heating, including cooling.
Solar heating is environmentally sound and cost effective and can be used in small systems for private residences, medium-scale systems for blocks of flats, hotels, industrial processes, etc., and large-scale systems for district heating. Denmark is at the cutting edge of technological developments in the field of large-scale solar systems for district heating.
Denmark has 665 CHP plants and 230 district heating power plants (collective and private heat supplies). Using solar heating, these plants could generate cash savings for consumers, lessen dependence on fossil fuels and reduce the environmental impacts of energy generation. There is a vast untapped potential in this field; this also applies to the use of solar heating for the processing industry – e.g. in production requiring large amounts of hot water, such as breweries, slaughterhouses, laundries, etc.
Examples of large-scale systems:
The Brædstrup district heating plant (2007) is approx. 8,000 m2 – and reduces CO2 emissions by 4,500 tons every year. Individual households currently save DKK 675 each year.