Photo: CPH City & Port Development

EnergyLab Nordhavn presents recommendations for smart energy systems in future cities


Since 2015, one of Denmark's biggest and most ambitious smart energy projects EnergyLab Nordhavn has been working on finding new solutions for sustainable and flexible energy systems in cities. And now, the 12 partners behind the project have presented recommendations for how to accelerate the development. A part of the answer is intelligent and energy-efficient buildings on which COWI engineers have been leading the work at EnergyLab Nordhavn.

Today, cities account for 70 percent of global CO₂-emissions. And in Denmark, buildings alone stand for 40 percent of the national energy usage. As more and more people move into cities, the need for smarter and more sustainable energy solutions is increasing.

In the last four and a half years, the full-scale smart city project EnergyLab Nordhavn has tested how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electrical transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimised energy system.

A crucial development if we are to succeed in creating greener cities according to Brian Seeberg, Senior Vice President in Industry & Energy in COWI:

"This kind of smart city energy solutions that have been tested in EnergyLab Nordhavn will not only bring Denmark closer to our national 70 percent target in reduction of CO₂ set for 2030. It will also enable us to export green solutions to big cities around the world, which will have a huge impact on the global climate."

Intelligent and energy-efficient buildings a part of the answer

Together with DTU, ABB and HOFOR, COWI engineers have been leading the work on how smart buildings can optimise a city's energy usage and support green living.

COWI has demonstrated how intelligent management systems can pave the way to flexible energy usage in buildings and ensure greater integration of renewable sources. Carsten Sass Husum, Head of Section in Industry & Energy in COWI, explains:

"By gathering and analysing real-time data on everything from heat and energy usage to indoor climate and something as basic as when people are home, it has been possible to relocate energy consumption from peak hours and raise awareness among the residents of Nordhavn on when to consume respectively the cheapest or greenest energy."

EnergyLab Nordhavn has shown that it only costs 0.5-1 percent of the investment to ingrate smart home technology from the very beginning of new construction projects, which also is a technology that provides new opportunities for energy-efficiency in already existing buildings.

"To reach the full potential, and to make the integration process as smooth and cost-effective as possible, we recommend including smart home technology already in the design phase of new buildings as well as renovation projects of older housing", concludes Carsten Sass Husum.

Read the rest of the results and recommendations from EnergyLab Nordhavn here.

Facts about EnergyLab Nordhavn

  • EnergyLab Nordhavn has a total budget of DKK 143 million. (EUR 19 million), hereof DKK 84 million (EUR 11 million) funded in two rounds by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP).
  • The 12 partners behind EnergyLab Nordhavn are: Technical University of Denmark (DTU), City of Copenhagen, CPH City & Port Development, HOFOR, Radius, ABB, Danfoss, Nerve Smart Systems, Glen Dimplex, Metro Therm, PowerLabDK and COWI. 
  • COWI has taken over as project partner from Balslev A/S following the employment of 9 engineers previously working for Balslev.

Get in contact

Carsten Sass Husum
Head of Section
Green Fuels and Energy, Denmark

Tel: +45 56404554