The Climatorium in Lemvig is an association and a climate-friendly and sustainable building. As part of the six-year climate project Coast to Coast Climate Challenge, Climatorium is to find solutions to the destructions caused by heavy climate changes and support knowledge sharing within the area in relation to both the business community and the public.
As one of the most climate-challenged areas in Denmark, the motivation to create solutions for the future climate challenges is high among Lemvig’s public institutions and businesses. As the Central Denmark Region has been looking for display windows for the project Coast to Coast Climate Challenge (C2C CC) since 2015, Lars Nørgård Holmegaard, the executive officer of Lemvig Forsyning, therefore seized the opportunity to transform Lemvig’s climate challenges into an asset and proposed a climate centre in Lemvig as one of the lighthouse projects which the region was looking for. Only one afternoon was spent on preparing the project application because, as Lars Holmegaard explains: “The odds of being taken into consideration were minimal”. But it turned out that the one A4 page application would be of greater importance to the supply and the municipality than you would think.
A workplace, knowledge communicator and product developer
Today, Climatorium is one out of two lighthouse projects of the six-year climate adaptation project C2C CC. The project is financed by EU funds, and a large part of the financing of Climatorium also comes from EU funds. In addition, Climatorium has been granted DKK 12 million over a four-year period under the budget agreement and DKK 2 million from the Central Denmark Region over a three-year period. When Climatorium ends at the end of 2022, it is to be financed via memberships only.
The objective of Climatorium is knowledge sharing and communication on water - especially salt water - relevant to both the business community, municipalities, public authorities and the public, and Climatorium is to be a workplace, knowledge communicator and product developer of solutions within water and climate.
In July 2019, the first turf was made to the physical part of Climatorium, and the building was ready at the end of 2020. Both Lemvig Vand and Spildevand A/S and a number of municipal employees are to work in the building but Climatorium is also going to be a display window for locals and tourists to experience the climate at close hand, and it is to form the framework of networks and development of cooperation between authorities, businesses, educational institutions and civil society.
Better and cheaper solutions for the benefit of all
Climatorium is a cooperation between 31 cooperation partners, including Lemvig Vand og Spildevand, which is one of the principal players behind the association together with the Municipality of Lemvig.
All cooperation partner benefit from each other because, as Lars Nørgård explains: “It is really quite simple. As a supply utility, we cannot put a stop to the climate challenges in Lemvig and the immediate neighbourhood by ourselves. Nor can the municipality, and the same goes for the businesses. By having private and public players working together, we can create long-lasting climate-friendly solutions for the benefit of the entire local community and especially for the benefit of the supply utilities’ own consumers. Through research institutions, including especially PhD students, we get the latest knowledge within the area, and the students often provide us with new ways to view the climate challenges.”
An example is the satellite project in Thyborøn which is a part of Climatorium. Through a PhD student’s satellite photos from the Thyborøn Channel, it is possible for the supply utility to take action in connection with breakage on water pipes and repair these instead of replacing the entire pipe which has been the common (and expensive) way to do things earlier. The solution has not only saved the consumers several million kroner; today, a number of private businesses also transfer satellite recordings into data which may be used to develop new methods in connection with adaptation of climate changes and which may be sold on the global market in the future.
Businesses have competitive advantages
When asking Lars Holmegaard how he has succeeded getting private business on-board the Climatorium project, he answers, based on the private players’ opportunity to act as front-runners within climate technology: “It was not that difficult to get the private players on-board. If the opportunity arises to get involved in an interesting project, there are always businesses that wish to be involved. The climate is topical, and in the long run, especially businesses will therefore get competitive advantages of participating in Climatorium as they will enjoy the knowledge of both the supply utility, the municipality and the research institutions and get the opportunity to find specific solutions to the climate challenges which may be sold to the outside world.”
In addition to the principal objective of Climatorium - the fact that cooperation between private players, public authorities and research institutions will create easier and cheaper solutions to the climate challenges the community is facing - Climatorium has also led to other side benefits.
Climatorium creates growth to the local community and the possibility of business tourism, and the supply utility has had the opportunity to meet the employees’ wish for supplementary training. The supply utility has also been given the opportunity to attract qualified labour from the area, something the local community has struggled with for some time.
Turn it to your advantage
As regards the Kalundborg Symbiosis, the director at Kalundborg Forsyning, Hans-Martin Friis Møller, explained in the latest edition of Ret & Indsigt that the supply utility’s corporate structure and infrastructure were one of the main reasons for the success of the Symbiosis. However, it is not a prerequisite for establishing cooperation between public and private players that the already existing conditions have to be in place before the project is started.
Lars Holmegaard says: “In this situation, the project is instead to turn around - not already existing advantages - but disadvantages or challenges into something positive. In relation to Climatorium, we join together to create solutions for our members which can ensure the community’s values and create jobs and growth in the local community. In short, we are working at learning to live with water in a more fun and active way.”
Lemvig on the world map
Climatorium’s target is to have ten businesses and 50 workplaces to join the centre and to develop at least six new products or methods to solve the challenges before 2022.
But Climatorium’s ambitions are higher than that: Climatorium must be put on the world map as an international climate centre. At present, it has already been planned that Climatorium is to export a number of solution models within water and climate to New Zealand, and Lemvig is also facing a number of challenges concerning increasing water levels. The objective is that Climatorium must to an increasing extent be able to export the solution models that the centre generates.