Sustainable Cities™

Thisted: Almost 100 % sustainable energy sources

Thisted is 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy. This development has come from below, because citizens, grassroots organisations and local companies are actively involved in supplying the municipality with renewable energy from private wind turbines, geothermal installations and biogas plants. Thisted has received the prestigious European Solar Prize for its renewable energy effort, and the municipality has just been nominated to be the home of a national test centre for large wind turbines.

Vindmøller, 29. juli 2009, fotos de jctopfoto

The municipality of Thisted in Northwest Jutland uses less than 1% fossil fuels in its production of energy and heat. With twenty years of experience with renewable energy sources, the municipality's energy and heat consumption today is almost exclusively derived from renewable energy sources such as the wind and the sun, biogas, geothermal plant, incineration of biomass and residual heat from industry. The various renewable energy sources provide 100% of electricity supplies and 85% of heat in the municipality. This means, among other things, that 90,000 fewer tonnes of CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere.

Characteristic of Thisted's success is that the use of renewable energy sources is not a result of political decisions but the development that has been going on in step with local farmers investing in their many privately owned wind turbines and biogas plant. All but one of 252 of Thisted's wind turbines are privately owned. Investing in renewable energy sources is good business for farmers, as the installations pay for themselves within 6-7 years, after which the farmers can then earn money on the energy they sell to the local electricity utility.

Klitmøller, Februar 1, 2009 by yuukal, Flickr Creative Commons

The electricity utilities and companies in the area have set specific goals for reductions in carbon emissions. Now the municipality is actively encouraging its citizens, e.g. through the association Energiske Thyboer. The association involves citizens, urging them to set to work on local renewable energy initiatives. This can e.g. involve building a biogas plant together with a local farmer, or a shared heating plant that can serve several households. Everyone is welcome to attend citizens' meetings and everyone can be involved in developing ideas for new energy solutions by joining working groups. The municipality is providing technical and financial consultancy, and close tabs are being kept on projects to help ensure that as many of them as possible come to fruition.

It is Thisted's vision to become a carbon-neutral pioneer municipality with an international reputation for inducing its carbon emissions. The municipality hopes, by means of new energy supply initiatives, both to take care of the environment and create more jobs through energy-based developments based on the municipality's existing commercial activities. This goal will be achieved by, among other things, a holistic strategy incorporating an overall plan for water, heat and electricity, energy labelling of all public buildings, as well as an overall plan for the operation of collective transport. In September 2009, the Danish government published plans to build a new national test centre for 250 metre-high marine wind turbines in Thisted.

Last updated Tuesday, December 16, 2014