DISTRICT HEATING – FINANCING AND OWNERSHIP
By Else Bernsen, project manager, Cowi
This article will discuss best practices for development and operation of well-functioning district heating and cooling markets. Planning, implementation and monitoring A huge chal lenge in connection to sustainable urban development is to address both present and future needs, which are dictated by resource scarcity and expected climate changes. Some urban areas are advanced in applying long- and short term planning tools and procedures in parallel with procedures for daily operational optimisation of integrated energy supply systems. The future will require this for all urban areas. An interdisciplinary approach to sustainability is necessary. The main topic of physical regeneration needs to be seen in a context alongside social, economic, environmental and cultural aspects of urban life. Sustainable urban development is reached best through integrated urban development plans around long- term visions for cities and neighbourhoods in their regional and national context. It is an important part of the process to evaluate requirements and expectations. Different buildings for different people, in different places have different requirements and these requirements changes over time. Focus on minimising the energy consumption, integrating RES and making the use of fossil fuel more effective is important. Future-proofed, flexible quality solutions pay off. It is challenging to assess which technologies will be optimal both now and in the future but, we have to make such assessments.
"Planning combines technical, economic, organisational, financial and legal issues and ensures decision making and implementation toward short and long term goals" Achieving the EU 2020 energy and climate goals requires strong and focused energy development strategies. Energy efficiency (EE) and integration of renewable energy sources (RES) into the markets for electricity, heating and cooling are important steps in the entire development process. The level of urbanisation in Europe is currently approximately 75%, and it is expected that from 2020 and onwards it will stabilize at a level over 80%. Heating and cooling in the EU represent about 40 % of the primary energy supply and potential savings in this area have to be identified. An integrated approach for implementing national strategies and goals for EE and RES in specific urban energy structures with technical limitations and opportunities is a prerequisite for the development. Action plans at urban level under national and internal framework conditions need efficient simulation tools and planning procedures covering all technical, economic and organisational issues. Most existing studies exploring the road to a decarbonized energy supply in 2050 model generic solutions without investigating the possibilities and limits of their implementation in practice in an urban environment. The organisation and level of competition in heat markets varies across the Member States of the EU. Climate conditions, building traditions and access to different energy resources differs in the local heat markets. The district heating and cooling market is reflected and should be understood through the specific local district heating and cooling networks and the local energy technologies competing at the specific local heat markets.
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