Pellets substitute coal

06.03.2015
Dong Energy has now converted to pellets, in order to fuel power plant Strudstrup. (Photo: Dong Energy)
Dong Energy has now converted to pellets, in order to fuel power plant Strudstrup. (Photo: Dong Energy)

Just off the Baltic Sea coast, to the north of the Danish town Aarhus, the power plant Studstrup is stationed. It generates not only energy but also district-heating on the basis of the fossil fuel coal. Successively, Dong Energy is now converting the power plant, so as to fuel it with pellets.

Together with Aarhus Municipality's heating supply company, AffaldVarme Aarhus (AVA), Dong Energy is converting the Studstrup power plant by Aarhus to run on sustainable wood pellets from the end of 2016. "Millions of tonnes of coal have since 1962 been used to run the Studstrup power plant. Now we are changing this. The green conversion of the power plant ensures a significant reduction in the power plant's annual coal consumption," said Lars Lærkedahl, Project Manager for the Studstrup conversion.

But exactly how sustainable is it to use wood pellets instead of coal? Lars explains: "The wood pellets will be transported by ship from Europe and North America to the power plant's harbour. Even including transportation and processing, the wood pellets will reduce CO2 emissions by 90 % compared to coal and thus save the environment up to 800,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is as much as 89,000 Europeans emit in a year."

"This CO2 reduction contributes significantly to Aarhus' target of becoming CO2 neutral by 2030," said Bjarne Munk Jensen, Head of AVA. "And it is achieved in a cost-effective way that ensures stable heat prices for the citizens of Aarhus the coming years."

Katharina Garus

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