By Sara Ben Amer-Allam, PhD fellow at Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Marie Münster, Senior Researcher at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Lukas Kranzl, Senior Researcher at Vienna University of Technology
Recent project results from the local case studies illustrate business cases for district heating in six different municipalities in the EU as well as the key success factors and main challenges and barriers for increased efficiency and sustainability of the European heating and cooling sector. The local analysis was conducted with energyPRO  used for modelling district heating networks and a specially developed spreadsheet- based Least-Cost Tool used for calculating costs of competing individual supply and overall results including viable heat savings for each local authority. The selectedmunicipalities differ in size, climatic conditions and renewable energy potentials. Since each case has a different energy system setup, a number of alternative scenarios were analysed, considering resources available. Below are the highlights of the six analysed cases. Ansfelden, Austria The current district heating network in Ansfelden supplies 12 % of residential heat and is based on biomass boilers, a backup natural gas boiler and thermal storage. An industrial site - a pulp and paper factory with excess heat potential is located nearby. While heat savings turn out to be an economically attractive option for Ansfelden, the resulting decrease of heat demand may lead to increasing heat prices for district heating supply. However, connecting a new development area planned within the municipality could increase the total heat demand for district heating. Another possible solution could be to utilize excess heat from the industrial site and to increase the connection rate via subsidies for biomass-based district heating and for district heating connection, as well as to set a binding climate goal for the new local settlement. The feasibility of these solutions will be studied further in the course of the project.
What do six local authorities in six EU countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Romania) have in common? They all want to improve their heating and cooling supply in an affordable way, so that more energy savings are implemented, renewable energy is used and less CO2 is emitted. These objectives are among the main drivers for the ongoing EU project progRESsHEAT . The results so far are promising: they show that there is a techno- economic possibility for achieving these goals, but the current policy framework only allows for modest energy savings and expansion of district heating and cooling based on renewables and waste heat. However, we have identified several success factors for district heating and cooling implementation and expansion in some cases.
Map of the target countries, regions and case study municipalities of the progRESsHEAT project
The process of transition to sustainable heating and cooling networks requires collaboration on different levels of decision- making: local, regional and national. progRESsHEAT is assisting policymakers in implementing the right policies with a model- based quantitative impact assessment of policies on all levels up to 2050. The project analyzes: current heating and cooling demands and future developments, long-term potentials of renewable energy and excess heat in the regions, barriers and drivers and possible policy interventions in scenarios up to 2050. progRESsHEAT provides policymakers with help in developing integrated, effective and efficient policy strategies aimed at achieving a fast and sustainable penetration of renewables-based and efficient heating and cooling systems.
Heat density of Ansfelden
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