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A heat atlas for demand and supply management in Denmark

Bernd Möller (Sustainable Energy Planning & Management Research Group, Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The objective is to describe and evaluate the development of a novel planning tool for end‐use efficiency in the built environment and for infrastructural changes in the energy system.


After describing problems related to further reduce heat demand in the Danish built environment, the geographical nature of the planning task is discussed. The requirements are then translated into concepts for the development of a general method, which is implemented in a practical design of a heat atlas. Typical applications are described and discussed.


It was found that the availability of the extensive public databases in Denmark make feasible the development and application of a highly detailed geographical information base for end use and infrastructure planning and analysis. It was also realised that the development has much higher potentials than explored in this paper. On the other hand, the complex geography of the urban/rural boundaries of cities requires extra care when using this approach.

Research limitations/implications

Unfortunately, the results of this report are only directly applicable for Denmark, which maintains public databases on the built environment and socio‐demography with a very high standard of detail and coverage. The research presented here may require further development of empirical methods of the relation between energy demand and physically and socially mapped data. On the other hand, the research may contribute to better data for analyses in the techno‐economic analyses of future energy systems, which now can be carried out for arbitrary geographical units, independent of administrative boundaries.

Practical implications

The method presented here may be further developed as a practical tool to be used to revive the municipal and regional energy planning, either by technical consultants or by local governments. Even a publicly accessible, web‐based tool is feasible.


The paper describes how existing data in society can be assembled to a novel method to be used within energy planning, and environmental management as a whole. A system of the one developed does not exist as yet. On the other hand it builds upon existing traditions in energy planning and local governance.



Möller, B. (2008), "A heat atlas for demand and supply management in Denmark", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 467-479.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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