At the beginning of 2023, Hamburg Institut and the Danish engineering company PlanEnergi made their cooperation official – but a close and successful collaboration between the two companies specialising in the heat transition has already existed for around ten years. With cross-border bundled competencies and capacities, we can also implement large, complex projects from a single source.

What can we learn from Denmark in terms of district heating? This question was already raised in 2012 at a specialist forum in Kiel on the topic of “District Heating with Renewable Energies” – and answered there among others by Per Alex Sørensen, team manager and co-founder of PlanEnergi. The contact established at that time between PlanEnergi and the founders of Hamburg Institut led to the first cooperation between the two companies in 2014 on the European project “Smart ReFlex – Renewable District Heating & Cooling”. Many more followed – until today.

This cooperation enables even more clout to implement also large projects with comprehensive know-how and from a single source.

Dr. Matthias Sandrock, Managing Director Hamburg Institut

Knowledge transfer and exchange of experience across national borders
With the signing of a cooperation agreement at the beginning of 2023, Hamburg Institut and PlanEnergi have once again underlined and consolidated their cooperation at the strategic and operational level. The aim is to further promote the use of resource-saving and environmentally friendly energies and systems as well as innovations. To this end, it is planned to work together in Germany, Denmark as well as in other countries, for example in project development and implementation and by participating in tenders together.

Both companies contribute highly specialised knowledge, especially in the field of district heating – for example in the areas of heat planning, heating grids, large-scale heat pumps and storage.

Per Alex Sørensen, team manager and co-founder of PlanEnergi

There are currently more issues than ever where joint expertise is demanded. After all, the heat transition is finally gaining the necessary momentum to achieve the decarbonisation goals. In particular, the topics of municipal heating planning and transformation plans should be mentioned here, where we can offer even more effective support within the collaboration. In the future, the cooperation should also go beyond the traditional intersections in the area of district heating. It would be conceivable, for example, to further expand competences in research and in advising municipalities on the path to climate neutrality.

ABOUT PlanEnergi

PlanEnergi is a Danish engineering company founded in 1983 with a focus on renewable energy and efficient energy use. As a service provider, PlanEnergi supports district heating companies in Denmark as well as municipalities and cooperatives in planning, consulting and monitoring tasks. The fields of work include energy and heat planning, solar thermal energy, heat pumps, bioenergy, wind energy, photovoltaics and the establishment of renewable district heating systems.

With over 35 years of experience, PlanEnergi is familiar with all conceivable combinations of district heating production systems. The approximately 45 employees are spread over the three locations in Skørping, Aarhus and Copenhagen. As a foundation, PlanEnergi works independently of suppliers and always pursues the foundation’s purpose: the dissemination of renewable energy.

More information

Shared references

Smart ReFlex Intelligent and flexible solutions for 100 % renewable heating networks in European municipalities

The SmartReFlex project had the overall objective of supporting European municipalities and energy suppliers in the implementation of innovative heating network concepts with the target value of 100 % renewable energies. On behalf of the EU Commission and within the framework of the Intelligent Europe programme, the project ran from 2014 to 2017.

SDHp2m solar district heating from policy to market

In this research project commissioned by the European Commission, the market preparation and extensive use of district heating and cooling systems with a high share of renewable energies was stimulated. The project, which ran from 2016 to 2018, focused particularly on the use of large-scale solar thermal systems combined with other renewable energy sources in heating networks.

Renewable energies in Hamburg’s district heating supply system

For the city of Hamburg, we worked on a comprehensive project on the renewable transformation of Hamburg’s district heating system from 2016 to 2019. On the basis of the report, concrete plans for the replacement of the coal-fired power plant in Wedel and the development of a transformation concept for the power plant in Tiefstack were carried out.
Download study (German)


The acronym RES-DHC stands for “Integration of Renewable Energy Sources into existing District Heating and Cooling Systems”. The main objective of the EU-funded project, which has been running since 2020, is to support the transformation of existing heating and cooling networks in urban areas in six selected regions and to derive technical and organisational solutions for the transformation process from these practical cases. Hamburg Institut and PlanEnergi are among the 15 project partners from eight countries.
Learn more (German)

Municipal heating and cooling planning for Norderstedt

Since 2023, we have been supporting the city of Norderstedt in the preparation of a municipal heating and cooling plan. The goal is to define the steps towards a future climate-neutral heat supply in a well-founded and holistic manner. For this purpose, current data is collected and evaluated, potentials for renewable heat sources are identified, and based on this, the optimal target scenario is set up. Finally, the catalogue of measures shows how the goal can be achieved and which measures have priority. 
Learn more (German)

Spatial recording of waste heat potentials in Hamburg

In the study, commissioned by the City of Hamburg’s Department of the Environment, Energy, Climate and Agriculture (BUKEA) in 2023, we deal with the systematic recording of waste heat potentials in the City of Hamburg.

Municipal heat planning Neustadt in Holstein

Municipal heat planning represents an important component for a climate-neutral heat supply and thus for the overarching goal of greenhouse gas neutrality. Together with PlanEnergi, Hamburg Institut has been supporting the municipal utility company of Neustadt in Holstein in this one-year process since 2023. The focus is primarily on two questions: Which combinations of solutions are the most cost-efficient for a climate-neutral heat supply? And with which measures can this state be achieved?



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