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100 climate solutions from Danish Municipalities


In 2016, Silkeborg became home to one of the world’s largest solar heating plants: a 157,000 m2 plant supplying 20% of the city's demand for district heating.

Silkeborg Municipality and the local energy company Silkeborg Heating have joined forces in an ambitious project to make the municipality’s goal of a carbon neutral heating system a reality by 2030. Silkeborg Heating supplies 22,000 customers including homes, companies and institutions – with district heating. To help achieve the municipality’s green ambitions, Silkeborg Heating has established a solar heating plant, which covers 20% of the heat demand in the district heating network of Silkeborg. The solar heating plant was completed in late 2016. After one year, Silkeborg Heating had reduced its CO2 emissions by 46%.


The solar heating plan covers and area of 157,000 m2, and with its establishment, Silkeborg became home to one of the world’s largest solar heating plants. With a life expectancy of more than 25 years, the solar heating plant is expected to provide a total CO2 reduction of as much as 392,500 tonnes, as solar heat production ultimately replaces natural gas. Following the success of the project, an expansion of the plant by a further 12% is currently under consideration.

The impressive solar heating system consists of 12,436 standard solar panels. The total cost of the project is around 33.5 million EUR.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Affordable and Clean Energy

The solar heating plant provides citizens with access to clean and sustainable energy. With an annual yield of 80,000 MWh, the system will be able to provide heat for 4,400 households.

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Silkeborg Heating’s solar heating system plays a crucial role in fulfilling the municipality's goal of having a carbon neutral heating supply by the year 2030.

Partnerships for the Goals

The project demonstrates how, in cooperation with local utility companies, municipalities can kickstart the green transition and provide citizens with access to sustainable energy.