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Denmark: No coal no more – Dong Energy has started pellets firing in Studstrup

Pellets arriving with ship to Dong Energy CHP plant Studstrup in Aarhus

No coal no more – Dong energy has started pellets firing in Studstrup CHP plant

One of the biggest biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) stations in the world is now located in Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus. The Studstrup Power Station began to use wood pellets instead of coal as fuel on 10 October, bringing green heating and electricity to the city’s residents and businesses, whilst reducing CO2 emissions by 1 tonne per resident. 

The conversion, costing around DKK 1.3 billion, makes Studstrup Power Station one of the biggest biomass-fuelled power stations in the world. In future, it is expected to produce district heating based on biomass for around 106,000 Danish homes as well as green electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of around 230,000 Danish homes.

After over two years of intense work converting the Studstrup Power Station, Lars Christian Lilleholt, the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, inaugurated a power station able to use wood pellets instead of coal as fuel on 10 October.

”I’m delighted that we can now open the new, green Studstrup Power Station, which will be able to supply green district heating to Aarhus and green electricity to the Danish grid. That means a significant contribution to the green revolution, and we’re well on the way to establishing an energy system that is green, independent and economically sustainable,” says Thomas Dalsgaard, Executive Vice President, DONG Energy.


A milestone for Aarhus’ climate targets

The recently completed conversion of Studstrup is the biggest single event in the entire green transformation of Aarhus. The switch from coal to wood pellets at Studstrup not only gives the biggest total CO2 reduction in Aarhus to date, but is also the biggest conversion to green energy sources in Denmark. Kristian Würtz, Alderman for the Department of Technology and Environment in Aarhus Municipality, looks forward to the massive benefits of switching from coal to wood pellets.

”The conversion of Studstrup means that we’ve taken a massive and important step towards fulfilling our ambition becoming CO2-neutral city by 2030. Green heat means that CO2 emissions for everyone in the city can be reduced by one tonne, from six to five tonnes per resident,” he says.

The green conversion of the Studstrup Power Station has provided the City of Aarhus with a tangible force for change.

”Using wood pellets as fuel at Studstrup Power Station will mean a lot in terms of us achieving our climate targets. It gives us the incentive to go further with the green transformation, something we intend to pursue to a greater degree together with residents and businesses,” says Würtz.

The Climate Plan 2016-2020 will set the city’s next climate target, and within the heating area, the new straw-fuelled CHP station at Lisbjerg will also come on line within the next few months, supplying green heating to Aarhus. Aarhus Municipality will thus bolster green district heating again, ensuring green supply of energy for many years to come, as Studstrup Power Station will supply 50 percent of the green district heating annually, and the biomass-fuelled CHP at Lisbjerg will supply 20 percent on an annual basis.

Wood pellets used in Studstrup CHP are imported and transported by ship
Wood pellets used in Studstrup CHP are imported and transported by ship

An excellent example

Apart from the now completed switch from coal to wood pellets, the Department of Waste and District Heating in Aarhus built two massive electric boilers at Studstrup Power Plant 18 months ago. They can generate electricity to produce district heating when the Danish wind turbines are running at full capacity, and the electricity prices are low.

”Studstrup Power Station is an excellent example of how we maximise the use of our resources to the benefit of the climate, while ensuring competitive prices for the consumer. We will use both wind power, solar power and biomass and get the various technologies to work together to complement each other in the best way possible,” says Dalsgaard.

In Aarhus is also a new biomass fuelled, straw and wood ships,  combined heat and power plant of 37/80 MW being built by the city of Aarhus energy division ”Affald Varme Aarhus”. It will be opened in late 2016.


  • Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Chr. Lilleholt opens the Studstrup plant with City Councillor for Waste and Heating, Kristian Würtz, on 10 October 2016.
  • A new silo has been built at Studstrup with a capacity of 65,000 tonnes of wood pellets. The silo is 43 metres high, and has a diameter of 70 meter. Studstrup 3 life extension program will secure operations until 2030 (535 MW – 2014). A conveyor system totalling around 800 metres has been built to bring the new fuel from ships to the silo and into the converted power station.
  • Green conversion at Studstrup will save the City of Aarhus 310,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. That’s equivalent to one tonne of CO2 per year per resident. The population of Aarhus is on the way to reach 332,000, and the total CO2 emissions for each resident to date has been six tonnes – now reduced to five tonnes.


DONG Energy is one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, headquartered in Denmark. Around 6,700 ambitious employees are engaged in developing, constructing and operating offshore wind farms; generating power and heat from our power stations; providing energy to residential and business customers on a daily basis; and producing oil and gas.

DONG Energy achieved a significant milestone with the completion of our initial public offering in June 2016. The IPO was the largest in Europe in the last 5 years and the largest IPO ever in Denmark both in terms of deal size and market cap. Ljungblom

Lennart Ljungblom

Lennart Ljungblom is an international bioenergy professional, writer and editor with 30+ years of experience from the bioenergy business. He has during the years been a publisher and editor of the magazines, Bioenergi, Kretslopp (Recycling) and Bioenergy International. He has also performed number of bioenergy marketing studies. Now he is the publisher of 4 bioenergy professional websites.

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