HOT|COOL NO. 1/2018 "Global District Energy Climate Awards"


By Robin Wiltshire, Chairman of the Evaluation Panel and Chairman of the IEA Executive Committee for District Heating and Cooling

One of the first duties of the panel, to take forward the idea of the Global Awards, was to devise an entry procedure. In order to comprehensively analyse the performance and efficacy of systems, submissions must include data that enables system efficiency and carbon emissions to be understood, together with descriptive details including the fuel mix, technology and customers served. A number of different categories for entries were also agreed upon by the panel. This is intended to reflect the diversity of scheme size, age, and innovative actions to initiate modernise or expand systems. Consequently, entries can be submitted both from long-established systems and recently installed systems, providing they have at least two years of operational data to draw upon. This also reflects the flexibility of this technology in aggregating heat demands for a networked supply of heat which allows the integration of heat from a huge variety of sources according to local availability. The Global Awards process itself evolves, in order to try to offer an effective and comprehensive method to allow any district energy system to apply. The aim is also to enable entries to be properly analysed, while not making the process too onerous. After each round, the panel still discusses issues like this: do the existing categories fully cater for the range of circumstances within which effective systems can emerge? Expect further developments for the next round, perhaps in particular to reach out more effectively globally. For now, I believe the most recent awards reflect a great new group of projects and approaches, as you will see from the proceeding articles. The 2017 Global District Energy Climate Awards were revealed on 24 October 2017, during the International District Cooling and Heating Conference in Doha, Qatar. You can also find descriptions of the inspiring schemes that have won in each of the rounds of these Awards, and those who have participated at

It has been my privilege to Chair the Evaluation Panel for the Global District Energy Climate Awards, with the help of a distinguished panel drawn from organisations across the world. Coordinated by Euroheat & Power, the panel benefits from the experience and knowledge of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations environment (UNEP), and other organisations from USA, Canada and Korea. Since the Awards were established in 2009 by DBDH (Danish Board of District Heating), there have been 5 editions with over 30 winning entries from different continents.

The reason for establishing the Awards was the knowledge that this technology is a key part of realising a sustainable energy future; it is fuel flexible and is in particular capable of using heat from renewable and secondary heat sources as well as the more established technologies like combined heat and power. Yet, it has remained underdeveloped and somewhat hidden from view. Major studies such as Heat Roadmap Europe have revealed the extent of the potential for this technology, and as a result of this, it has in recent years gained much more traction with decision-makers. We believe another important aspect lies in the recognition of individual systems. In this way, excellent systems are highlighted, and we build up a great portfolio of case studies for all to peruse. And of course, while every successful system has its own particular characteristics arising from local circumstances, nevertheless we believe that such success stories will inspire others to replicate, adapt, apply to their own towns and cities. Or perhaps also to realise that they too already have a great story to tell, that they can share by applying in the next round.

Robin Wiltshire For further information please contact:


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