Sonderborg received an international energy award in China

Sonderborg received an international energy award in China

The energy renovation of 844 apartments, 44 new bio busses, the installation of PV-panels on 45 apartment buildings along with the setup of charging stations for electrical vehicles have resulted in a prestigious international award for Sonderborg. 

By Minna Hallberg, Sonfor. Translated by Brian Egering.

Chairman for the technique and environment council in Sonderborg municipality, Aase Nyegaard, project leader for SmartEnCity in Sonderborg, Iben Nielsen, director for the project’s coordinating partners Sonderborg utility Lars B.Riemann along with a business representative for the energy technology sector, Alfred Che from Danfoss were invited to Ningo in China to receive the prestigious award.

As a part of the EU-project SmartEnCity Sonderborg has since February 2016 with support from EU successfully accomplished many energy efficiency projects. The ambitious green projects have resulted in Sonderborg receiving an award in the category “Excellence Award and Pioneer Award” by the prestigious Euro-China Green and Smart City Awards 2018.

-      We are very proud that Sonderborg receives the award, which is an important acknowledgement of the many energy efficiency projects we have implemented as a part of SmartEnCity. The award is, at the same time, a way to create possibilities for the many companies in our area, that are specialized within the field of energy technology, and wish to enter the Chinese market, says the chairman for the technique and environmental council in Sonderborg municipality, Aase Nyegaard who, together with, representatives from SmartEnCity Sonderborg just arrived back home after receiving the award in the Chinese City Ningo south of Shanghai. 

Sonderborg as an energy efficient pioneer city

The idea behind SmartEnCity is to let a select few pioneering cities develop the strategy for how small and middle-sized cities all over Europe can reduce their energy consumption while maximizing the usage of sustainable energy sources. Sonderborg has together with Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain and Tartu in Estonia been chosen as pioneering cities.

-Sonderborg gets a lot of positive attention from all over the globe due to our many energy initiatives and our ProjectZero-vision about becoming CO2-neutral in 2019. Receiving the award at a major event like Euro-China Green and Smart City Award 2018, is a contributing factor at underlining our position a green pioneering city on both European and international level, Aase Nyegaard concludes. 

Facts about SmartEnCity

Sonderborg became a part of the SmartEnCity project in 2016, which, with financial support from the European Unions’s Horizon 2020 research and innovational program is to create more CO-2 neutral cities in Europe. Sonderborg was, along with Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain, Tartu in Estonia chosen as pioneering cities in the SmartEnCity project in 2015. The name of the project ”SmartEnCity” is a contraction of the words ”Smart Energy City”.

For more information:

The Danish SmartEnCity partners are: ProjectZero, PlanEnergi along with the housing associations B42, Sonderborg housing association and the housing association ”Søbo”. Sonderborg utility er the coordinating partner. 

As a pioneering city in SmartEnCity Sønderborg was granted 50 million Danish kroner for a series of projects including;


-      Energy renovation of around 66000 housing- squaremeters in the housing associations SAB, SøBO and B42

The three housing associations SAB, SøBo and B42 were, through SmartEnCity, granted support for a total of 45 apartment houses with 844 apartments, 1700 residents and an area of 66000 square meters. The three housing associations have carried out individual renovations of apartment buildings. Elements that occur repeatedly are PV-panels and the rooftops and the replacement of common lighting to LED. This results in the total energy consumption of the apartment building being reduced drastically, while its own green production of energy has increased- which means that the apartment building, to this day, is supplied a 100% by sustainable energy.

-       Sustainable public transportation in the Sonderborg area

I 2017 the diesel driven busses in Sonderborg municipality were replaced with way more environmentally friendly bio busses, which has resulted in a vast reduction of CO2-emissions: The replacement has reduced the diesel consumption by a million liter, which accounts for the annual 2700-ton CO2-emissions from the busses of the municipality. At the same time, the 44 bio busses are much less noisy, their fuel is cheaper that diesel, and their exhaust contains less harmful particles.

-       More charging stations for electrical cars

Finally, since the beginning of the project, charging stations have been setup to supply private and corporately owned electrical vehicles with energy and thereby, hopefully, spread the message of green vehicles.


16. September 2018