94 % reduction of CO2-emission within a year
Last week, the Port of Hvide Sande and Hvide Sande District Heating hosted a DUAL Ports’ summit, where 50 partners and guests participated to discussed the future of sustainable energy solutions for port areas. And on this occasion, the two hosts also presented their own goals for the future in Hvide Sande.
The location of a port can help realize the potential of many green energy technologies that we are already using today and those who will become more significant in the future. The Port of Hvide Sande has already come a long way in their sustainable development. The location at the west coast of Jutland offers obvious opportunities for energy production using wind, solar and the energy in the air which are the elements that will help reduce hvide Sande District Heating’s CO2-emissions by 94% within a year.
The start of a strong collaboration
The cooperation between Port of Hvide Sande, Hvide Sande District Heating and the many other companies on the harbor extends for some years.
Steen Davidsen, port director at Hvide Sande Havn, says: “In the mid-’00s, the Port of Hvide Sande was in a situation where our sailing conditions had become very poor. Low water depth and very unstable sailing conditions meant that our largest fishing vessels could not land their catch here. They had to fish at other ports, and so the Port of Hvide Sande lost a large part of their revenue. ”
A 2010 catchment analysis showed Steen and his colleagues that a fish’s value is typically quadrupled. Its turnover value thus becomes four times as great for the port and local businesses as the fish is put for sale, the fishing boats are serviced by electricians and blacksmiths, fishermen purchase supplies and many other conditions. As a result of the fishing industry turned to other ports, both the Port of Hvide Sande, the city and the areas’ general business environment lost a big revenue.
“That is why we started looking at how we could improve the situation. The Port of Hvide Sande and three of the large companies, incl. Hvide Sande Shipyard, teamed up with Municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern and together they agreed to develop a project to improve the conditions that were obstructing the fishery so that the fishing vessels could come back again,” says Steen Davidsen and continues.
“At the same time, the fleet of fishing vessels had become bigger over the years and the number of active vessels was reduced, so many companies at the port had begun to grow new business areas. Still in the maritime business, but for example Hvide Sande Shipyard had started to produce transport equipment for Vestas. At management level and the board of directors, they saw the need for developing other business areas to maintain the dynamics and development of the port. Can we get coaster traffic? Can we play a larger role in other areas within offshore wind?”
The road to green energy
As the companies at the Port of Hvide Sande began to develop and find new business areas, it also placed greater demands for the port area that needed an expansion. And to that end, the Port of Hvide Sande had a plan that also meant a sustainable energy solution.
Steen Davidsen explains: “The wind is a very obvious resource for us on the west coast. If we could carry out a wind turbine project, then we could finance a part of the port expansion we needed. We could also become self-sufficient with electricity for the many summer cottages that use electricity, and that was also a story that tourism organizations saw opportunities in. The project had the potential for improving image and branding for the tourism industry and port companies.
The windmills were in service at the beginning of 2012, and by the middle of 2013, we had a new port and new facilities, and so it was very logical for the original companies to explore how the new facilities could be better utilized.”
The wind turbine project boosted the port’s development and the companies’ growth opportunities. And the collaboration that had already begun inspired the possibilities of creating even greater cooperation.
“In 2011, we invited all companies interested in the port’s activities and asked: Do you want to join a collaboration? The agreement between the companies created Hvide Sande Service Group, which is a network of business enterprises whose purpose is to make us attractive in relation to new facilities so that we can grow new business areas. And that is the foundation on which we have worked,” Steen Davidsen says and continues.
“The companies work in and across groups, and this has, among other things, developed Hvide Sande Supply, which is now an agent and stevedore company that establish contact between the calling vessels and local companies for services such as unloading, loading, customs clearance, forging work, food, lodging and much more. It has also helped make the Port of Hvide Sande more attractive as a freight and traffic port. The collaboration with Hvide Sande Shipyard and Hvide Sande Supply also inspires us to seek new opportunities. How can we achieve greater value for one another? And how can we together deliver something externally in terms of service and products that are of interest?”
It was also in 2015 that the Port of Hvide Sande and Hvide Sande District Heating saw their opportunities for cooperation. And precisely this collaboration has initiated their participation in the DUAL Ports project to find sustainable energy solutions for the port.
Steen Davidsen says: “A natural consequence of the wind turbine project has initiated the project with Hvide Sande District Heating, which is a major tenant at the port, and who could see the value in acquiring the wind turbines and creating a better, cheaper, sustainable and renewable heat production for the entire area. Together, we also found the area for the solar panel plant in the port area, and this is how we started a strong partnership about a green project that benefits the entire area. Together we create a very high degree of self-sufficiency in the energy field and on an extremely sustainable basis. It has been natural to develop further.”
Responsibility for own development
Since the mid-’00s, the Port of Hvide Sande has been through a great development – both in their local business and in development of sustainable energy solutions. And it has especially been cooperation and responsibility that has driven their growth and success.
“The special thing about the Port of Hvide Sande and our area is cooperation and unity – joint responsibility for our own situation and development makes us strong. It was therefore quite natural for us that if we were to have wind energy here at the harbor, we should do it in a way where we make our own decisions. That is why we created our own private trader fund, which can buy goods wherever they want and which, of course, bought Vestas mills because they were the ones we needed to support the ownership that the whole area has,” says Steen Davidsen.
Steen Davidsen continues: “Fishing is our DNA – and the wind as a resource has become part of it. There is a huge wind industry, and the biggest workplace nearby is actually Vestas in Ringkøbing and Lem on the other side of the fjord. Many of the formerly active in the fishing industry have, after a structural adjustment, been given work in the wind turbine production, where they either work at Vestas or one of their subcontractors.
And it is no coincidence that Vestas has emerged out here. The west coast of Jutland is where we have the larger amount of wind, which means that some people once thought that it can be used to produce wind energy.”
In a year, the Port of Hvide Sande and Hvide Sande District Heating will achieve the target of being 94% CO2 neutral in their energy production with help from a new heat pump.
Martin Halkjær Kristensen, operations manager at Hvide Sande District Heating, adds: “The new heat pump can produce 4.6 MW, but it will only use 1.3 MW of electricity to achieve full power. So it only needs 1 part of electricity to produce 3-4 parts of heat, which is an increased power rate of 300-400 percent.”
Together, the two local organizations have worked to reach the ambitious climate target, but there are no worries about meeting the deadline within a year.
“It is a fully achievable goal. Hvide Sande District Heating has expanded their area and prepared their facilities, and once the new heat pump is installed, they are self-sufficient in energy parts. When the project is complete, we expect the total CO2 reduction to amount to at least 6,300 tonnes of CO2 annually, which is a 94% reduction,” says Steen Davidsen.
Hydrogen in the future
But Hvide Sande District Heating cannot use the entire energy production from the three wind turbines at the Port of Hvide Sande. Today, excess electricity from the mills is being sold, and it has fueled the consideration of producing hydrogen from surplus production. It allows you to use the energy when you need it and not when it is produced. And there is a clear plan for hydrogen in the future.
Martin Halkjær Kristensen from Hvide Sande District Heating explains: “The excess wind energy can be utilized for hydrogen production, which will be used locally. The residual product in hydrogen production is actually heat that can be used for district heating production, so we can achieve a sustainable, circular infrastructure where renewable energy is recycled.”