By Oddgeir Gudmundsson, Jan Eric Thorsen and Marek Brand, Danfoss Heating Segment Application Centre, Denmark.
logistically as transportation of gas and electricity is simple per energy unit. Financial reasons have played both direct and indirect role, directly as accessing the renewable energy sources can be investment expensive and hence not practical on building level and indirectly as the “energy product” is characterized by low temperatures, which makes it impractical to transport the energy over vast distances, which limits the market potential. However, today we have the knowhow, the experience and the technology to tap into the abundantly available renewable energy sources and supply the energy in an efficient manner to the building mass through water based distribution networks, known as district energy systems. Currently district heating has on average only 9% market share in the heat market in the EU. This is well below the feasible market share, which has been estimated to be between 60- 80% of the heat market in various countries . A certain proof of that statement can be found in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, where the market shares were approximately 65%, 50% and 50% respectively in 2011. In the eastern European countries Lithuania and Latvia, the market shares were 67% and 64% respectively in 2011.
In the recent COP 21 meeting in Paris a global agreement was signed with a goal of limiting the global warming to less than 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Further, the parties will pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This is a monumental agreement and the census is that to achieve this goal greenhouse gas emission must become net zero in the period of 2030 and 2050. This is very ambitious goal and will require significant changes in the world energy structure. The energy statistics from the European Union (EU-28) shows that households are responsible for around 39% of the final energy consumption, excluding transport. Of the household energy consumption a major share is used for heating and cooling purposes. Here it becomes very interesting as the energy quality needed for space heating and cooling is very low. In fact the required energy quality is so low that there is abundance of suitable energy sources around us. Despite the fact that there is an abundance of suitable energy sources available for fulfilling space heating and cooling demand the demand is today primarily being met by high quality energy in the form of either gas or electricity. The reason for the mismatch between needed energy quality and delivered energy quality is from historical, logistical and financial reasons. Historically, due to the formerly wide acceptance of using fossil fuels, and
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