State of Green: Heading for a Future Independent of Fossil Fuels

July 23, 2019
When State of Green was established, it was a highly unusual construction.

Denmark is on a green path. Since 1980, Danish GDP has increased by more than 90% while energy consumption has remained largely unchanged and CO2 emissions have been reduced by 40%. By 2050, Denmark will be entirely independent of fossil fuels. State of Green’s aim is to support others on their journey to achieve their sustainability goals.

Established in 2008, State of Green’s objective is to help solve global challenges. Rather than advocating a one-size-fits-all model for the green transition, the consortium seeks to stimulate debate, spur partnerships and inspire others through leading by example. Collaboration and dialogue are central elements of the Danish mind-set.

State of Green is in itself an example of partnership and collaboration. The consortium is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership between the Danish Government and Denmark’s four leading business organizations: Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Energy Association, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Wind Denmark. His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, is the patron of State of Green.

When State of Green was established, it was a highly unusual construction. No other country had brought the public and the private sectors together as part of a shared goal to showcase a country’s sustainable and renewable policies and solutions. The organisation was established to promote Denmark’s green ambitions in the lead up to and during the United Nations’ climate conference COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009. The intention was to dissolve it shortly thereafter. However, the initiatives of the organisation - and the construction itself - turned out to be quite successful.

Ten years later, State of Green and its many activities are still thriving. The motor behind it all is the web portal ( where more than 600 Danish businesses, organizations, and institutions share their experiences with transitioning to a sustainable society. The web portal -- and its 1,500 green solutions – are reviewed by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Through State of Green Tours, the consortium annually receives 2,000 international political and commercial decision-makers who are interested in Danish policies and by Danish solutions. Following an introduction to the green Danish transition at the visitors’ center, House of Green, the delegations visit companies and organizations all over the country on tailor-made tours.

The consortium takes part in a number of international events every year. It arranges networking events and it publishes white papers focused on global challenges and the many solutions that already exist to solve them.

All countries have an obligation to reduce their CO2 emissions, but each must find their own way. Denmark aims to inspire others by sharing its own experiences and believes that by doing so everyone stands to gain. Being a public-private partnership gives State of Green credibility and a strong network. This enables the consortium to reach and connect relevant stakeholders in order to drive progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient society.

State of Green is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark. The partnership has been organized in such a manner that it fosters relations with and among international stakeholders interested in addressing their challenges. State of Green brings into play relevant Danish competencies and technologies that enable the green transition.

As a single-point-of-entry for more than 600 Danish businesses, governmental and academic institutions, experts, and researchers, State of Green connects with all leading Danish players working to drive the global transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, resource-efficient society. Whether it be within renewable energy, energy efficiency, water management, waste management, climate adaption or integrated urban solutions, State of Green matches partners with solutions.

One of the projects that State of Green has been highlighting is an important waste-to-energy plant with multiple purposes. Copenhagen’s state-of-the art plant set new standards for environmental performance, energy production and waste treatment.

Copenhageners and visitors have in their midst a waste-to-energy plant which is one of the best performing European plants in terms of energy efficiency, waste treatment capacity, and environmental consideration. It is also remarkable in terms of visual rendition and local acceptance.

The plant, known as Copenhill/Amager Bakke, was constructed by Amager Ressourcecenter (ARC), a company that itself is owned by five Danish municipalities. Copenhill/Amager Bakke is equipped with two furnace lines and a joint turbine- and generator system. The plant replaces a 45-year-old plant with four furnace lines. Amager Ressourcecenter runs this plant in such a manner that it burns 2 x 35 tonnes of waste per hour. In addition to the merits  of the plan’ts advanced technology, the plant’s architecture in quite unique. It includes a roof-wide artificial ski slope inspired by the ski slopes in the Alps, and this slope is open to the public at large.

How efficient is the technology of the Copenhill (ARC’s Amager Bakke) plant? The 400,000 tons of waste a year result in the following:

99% energy efficiency.

District heating for 160,000 households.

Electricity for 62,500 households.

100 million liters of spare water recovered through flue gas condensation.

90% reuse of metals from waste amounting to 10,000 tonnes of metal a year.

100,000 tonnes of bottom ash reused as road material which saves large amounts of gravel.

Babcock and Wilcox Vølund supplied the entire combustion system from crane through feeding, DynaGrate and boiler, to ash handling, as well as a particle and NOx-reduction system. Babcock and Wilcox Vølund is a leading technology supplier for converting household waste and biomass into heat and power, as well as a provider of turnkey solutions utilizing strategic partners. The company supplies boilers, grates, and firing systems that are designed for long-term availability. To meet the increased global competition and maintain a competitive edge Babcock and Wilcox Vølund developed state-of-the art equipment and systems based on new research and development.

About the Author

Gordon Feller | Europe Insights Editor

Gordon Feller has spent the past 40 years working to create a sustainable energy future. Among his many roles, he served as an Obama appointee on a select U.S. Federal Commission, established by the U.S. Congress to focus on recommending actions to address the future of utilities, the grid, EVs and storage.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!