We build bridges to a greener everyday life

The green transition is well underway in Denmark. We collect power from over 6,000 wind turbines and photovoltaic systems all over the country and have never been greener in our energy production. Despite this, 20% of our power is still produced by fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, that send CO2 into the atmosphere.

plant trees

Date 31.08.21

Before the green transition is complete, any Danish electricity consumer will to a greater or lesser extent set aside annual carbon footprints. We cannot conjure up a 100% sustainable energy sector overnight, but we can take certain proactive measures that can bridge the gap to a greener everyday life while we wait.

Watts builds that bridge with his members. In a joint mission to make all members carbon neutral, trees are planted for every customer.

But how much CO2 can a tree actually absorb, and where are the trees planted?

The planet's best return system

Watts is making an effort to make his members' electricity consumption carbon neutral using nature's oldest recycling system. It is, of course, about photosynthesis: that trees, plants and algae can convert the potentially dangerous CO2 into oxygen. But it is also ultimately about storing CO2. All green plants and algae direct the collected CO2 back to nature when they die. Therefore, some short-lived plants are less effective when it comes to binding CO2 over time. But it's trees in return.

The tree binds CO2 in virtually its entire organism right from the leaves, branches, trunk and roots. And it can hide it for hundreds of years. The trees are therefore, from a climate point of view, one of the best possible solutions in the effort to offset the carbon footprint of Watts members.

Watts trees are secured for generations

In May 2020, In collaboration with Growing Trees and Holbæk Municipality, Watts secured a land area of 60,000 m2 (a total area corresponding to 12 football fields) in Svinninge in Northwest Zealand. Here, the first sustainable sod has already been taken in connection with the planting of Svinninge Folkeskov. The first trees have already been planted, and the plan is that a total of 24,000 trees will fold its green crowns over the newly cultivated area.

Watts forest in Svinninge is a so-called mixed forest of broadleaves consisting of oak, beech, linden, maple, as well as fruit trees and wild cherries. Although a forest of spruce trees, for example, would be able to absorb more CO2 in less time, it would be much more fragile in the face of the changing weather and live for less time than a mixed forest. A mixed forest often becomes over 100 years old, which is twice as much as spruce trees. Therefore, the binding of CO2 is longer and larger with oaks and beech trees in the long run.

The future forest has already been given peace forest status. This means in all its simplicity that the area must always house trees and that no tree must be felled until it is ready for harvesting. And should that happen, the law stipulates that a new tree must always be planted afterwards.

Watts newly planted trees are therefore future-proof for generations and are thus allowed to absorb CO2 in peace, while biodiversity grows in the local area.

Tree crowns for electric crowns

The trees don't grow into the sky, but in the long run they will cover your carbon footprint. It all boils down to a simple accounting of how much CO2 you as an electricity consumer emit per used kWh as well as the amount of CO2 a tree is expected to absorb in the same period.

The most recent statistical for 2020 showed that a 1 kWh stream emits 117 grams of CO2[1]. On an annual basis, an average family in Denmark consumes 4,500 kWh[2]. The total annual CO2 emissions per family are thus around 530 kg.

A full-grown hardwood in Svinninge Folkeskov will have absorbed an average of 600 tonnes of CO2 over 50 years[3]. A tree is expected to bind about 150 kg of CO2. It takes almost 4 trees to cover you. But Watts actually plants 8 trees for each family. This means that you not only offset your own carbon footprint, but at the same time give more back to nature than you take.

In this way, Watts creates a proactive climate action that goes beyond yourself and your own consumption. And it is already sprouting in Svinninge near Odsherred.

More members, new forests and an even greener Denmark

Svinninge Folkeskov is just the start of a hopefully long Watts project, which will give Danes greater opportunities to opt in to green, climate-conscious solutions in the Danish energy sector. So, of course, the project does not stop when Watts members have filled Svinninge Folkeskov with 24,000 trees.

The forest is then handed over to the Danish Nature Agency, after which Watts will set up new land in Denmark to plant new forests together with the future members.

Whether it will be Denmark's largest root grid of green-electricity customers remains to be found, but Watts gives you a forest for good reasons to get started with climate-responsible electricity consumption with proactive solutions for a more sustainable future.

 

 

[1] https://energinet.dk/Om-nyheder/Nyheder/2021/05/31/Den-danske-elproduktion-var-rekord-groen-i-2020

[2]https://www.bolius.dk/saa-meget-el-vand-og-varme-bruger-en-gennemsnitsfamilie-279

[3] https://static-curis.ku.dk/portal/files/225664165/Sagsnotat_kulstof_skovrejsning_20190724.pdf

 

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