Figure 2: District heating and cooling potential in the EU28, based on heat demand density. This figure shows the cumulative heat demand densities based on Peta3. While it does not have an energy system perspective (so cannot show what the efficient level of district heating could be in the context of the energy system) it shows that there are many areas in Europe where district heating is already (highly) feasible, and should be implemented.
Implementing district heating The further implementation of district heating is still an area where large gains can be made. In many areas, district heating potential remains largely unfulfilled. The work in Heat Roadmap Europe 3 (WP2 of the Stratego project) included the thermal mapping of the EU28 and the development of integrated heating and cooling strategies for five member states. Figure 2 shows the cumulative heat demand densities in the EU28. In some of the countries with the highest potential for both conventional and 4th generation district heating, such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany, district heating is currently minimal or practically non-existent, even though the potential is larger than in some more traditional district heating countries. The implementation of district heating systems in these areas is hard because of current planning and institutional frameworks, but there is technical and socio-economic potential to providemore renewable and affordable heating and cooling. Heat synergy regions Most impressively, the latest results from the Heat Roadmap Europe project, which is now expanding to 14 countries, show that there is still a huge amount of energy being wasted. One of the latest results currently available online in the Pan-European Thermal Atlas is the location of excess heat activities. The excess heat available from individual plants is calculated as the theoretically available excess heat based on data from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). The combined knowledge of the location of heat demands and excess heat activities allows the Heat Roadmap Europe project to highlight heat synergy regions in which both high levels of heat demand and high levels of excess heat exists. Middlesborough and Hartlepool in the United Kingdom represent a case where several excess heat activities are located in the centre of the town and within a short distance of the heat demand, as seen in Figure 3. The two towns have a heat demand of approximately 9.5 PJ, and the excess heat facilities within the area
have a theoretical excess heat available of 34 PJ. This comes from the potential for industrial excess heat, which comes mainly from iron and steel manufacturing and chemical industries. Under the Renewable Energy Directive proposal in the Winter Package, this excess energy from the industry would be counted as renewable and contribute towards the targets.
Figure 3: An image from Peta 4 (www.heatroadmap.eu/Peta4.php) showing the Middlesbrough and Hartlepool area. It currently displays the heat demand density and sources for excess heat. In the interactive version, one of the possibilities is to select the potential excess heat facilities to gain more information.
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