The town of Frederikshavn in northern Jutland is over 8,000 kilometres from Shanghai in China, but the connection between them is very close when it comes to renewable energy projects. Financial daily newspaper Børsen reports that the mayor of Frederikshavn, Erik Sørensen, has just signed an agreement of principle with the city authorities in Shanghai regarding exchange of expertise in the energy area.
From Frederikshavn's side, the background to the deal is that the town is engaged in an innovative and ambitious energy project that by 2015 will ensure that the entire conurbation's energy needs are met from renewable energy sources.
What Shanghai has, that Frederikshavn wants, is knowledge and expertise on utilizing mobile energy sources for transport. And in return for getting this knowledge, Shanghai will get what it wants from Frederikshavn, namely its valued expertise on energy saving systems and waste management.
Erik Sørensen has a further perspective in signing the agreement, which is that he wants to get Frederikshavn featured as part of Expo 2010 in Shanghai, where the theme will be 'Better City, Better Life'. Sørensen told Børsen: "Since we are going to be exclusively powered by renewable energy from 2015, we have a story to tell to the rest of the world, and it would be wonderful to do it at Expo 2010."
Sørensen's hope is that Frederikshavn can position itself as an international test-bed town where companies and researchers can demonstrate their ideas in a real-life setting.
In a parallel development, Aalborg University in north Jutland and Tongji University in Shanghai are also preparing to enter an agreement, concerning fuel cell research.