5.5.17- Epic morning run in Copenhagen

I decided that I would be a little crazy and wake up at 5:30 AM so I could run with Dr. Reed. We ran a little over 5 miles, which is on the far side of what I usually run, but I really wanted to see more of Copenhagen, since it is our first morning here.

We got to run to the power plant/ ski slope area called Copenhill, pass the opera house, across the Inner Harbour Bridge (that can open for larger ships to pass under), and through the iconic Nyhavn canal area. One of the nice things about morning runs is that there are not many cars, just some bikers and other runners.

Amager Bakke - winter activities, ski slopeImage result for copenhill

If you couldn’t tell what I meant by power plant/ ski slope, I looked up pictures (above) of what it’s supposed to look like in the winter. It is waste-to-power incinerator plant and is part of an initiative for Copenhagen to become the world’s first zero-carbon city by 2025.  The twist is that they are planning on having an artificial ski slope on the roof.

From state of green: The plant will be able to burn 400,000 tons of waste a year result in:

  • 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 tons of metal a year.
  • 100,000 tons of bottom ash reused as road material which saves large amounts of gravel.

😱😱😱 Now that’s one pretty cool ski slope, eh?

A breakfast buffet was included in our hostel package. It felt like a traditional Danish breakfast with lots of bread and cold cut meat platters. I opted for toast with strawberry jam, cucumbers, mixed fruit, a mix of granola and corn flakes cereal, and green tea.

Next, we took the metro to the Middelgrunden wind cooperative for lunch and presentation given by Hans Chr Soerensen. Hans was very informative and an overall interesting guy. I felt like I got a thorough overview of Danish wind power and Denmark’s history.


Our class having a Danish lunch before our Middelgrunden lecture

In the 1980s, most electricity production was based on coal. The move towards wind energy began with the oil embargo in 1973 and increased in popularity with fluctuating energy tax and more concerns about global warming and carbon emissions. Denmark has been a leader in wind power and hope by 2020 to achieve a goal of 50% wind power. Depending on weather conditions and other factors, electricity is traded with neighboring European nations like Norway, Sweden, and Germany on the Nord Pool spot market as part of the Nordic interconnected power system and power market. Denmark has shown how energy consumption can become independent of economic growth. Trends depict how energy consumption has remained relatively constant with increasing with GDP.
A unique cultural aspect of Denmark is how the communities are trusting and supportive of one another. The Danes have a cooperative model for wind, where there is shared ownership so everyday people can own shares in wind turbines! The Middelgruden Wind Turbine Cooperative had more than 8500 members in 2005, and now maintains a minimum of 20% local ownership. Because of this involvement, it seems like the Danes are more supportive of wind and solar.

Before this lecture, I naively wondered about how wind turbines could be built in the ocean. I discovered that the wind farms are actually built on a natural reef, where the water is only 3 to 8 meters deep. This actually creates an artificial reef that thus far has had little effect on the fish communities. Fishermen have even come back to the area. The environmental effects of the wind turbines are of concern and closely monitored. I was curious about the bird population, but there also has not been any major effects and most species avoid the wind farms.

city hall

Outside of City Hall (Rådhus)

We had the rest of the day to explore. Everyone divided into groups and went our separate ways. We walked absolutely everywhere. My vivofit watch tracked that I ran/walked 15.38 miles or 43,437 steps!!!! To put that in perspective, my goal each day is to reach 10,000 steps.  We had delicious (and pricey) dinner at Cap Horn in Nyhavn. I ordered a quinoa salad.

Then we headed over to Tivoli Gardens, which is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world :O The Copenhagen card we were given got us entry, but the rides were an additional fee. No one in my group wanted to pay that much for the rides, but there was a VR roller coaster that I am planning on going back to on my own to ride.

There were lovely flowers and animals roaming about.

We mainly came because we heard about a free concert. It was featuring Infernal and Kongsted (yeah I don’t know them either). I soon discovered the Danes really like electronic/ techno dance music a lot. There wasn’t much singing, a lot of bass, cool visual effects, and BAGPIPES. I couldn’t really get into it, so I left halfway through because there was too much smoke. Oh yeah, that’s a very common thing here. Smoking. And drinking. I’m not into either of those things, but it’s amazing how healthy the Danes still are.  I was told by other students that the bars were full of smoke too. The cigarette packs also have very horrific images on them to discourage smoking, but I don’t know how well that’s working…

My teacher messaged the group about having different running groups starting as early as 5:30, 6:30, and then 7:30 AM.  A lot of people asked me about my run with Dr. Reed XD. Two people told me that they were interested in the runs tomorrow (but I’m doubtful they’ll show up). I’m a little sore from all the walking, but I’ll see in the morning about that 7:30 run!

Sarah xx



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