DRIVERS & APPROACHES In this article we discuss different drivers and development approaches and consider some basic necessary steps to take in order to district energize a city. First, we take some different case studies:
Isidore McCormack is Chief Project Manager and John Flørning is Chief Energy Planner based in Ramboll, Copenhagen. Both are working on district energy and energy supply decarbonisation projects across Europe and in the US. Based on over 40 years of experience, Ramboll offer full consulting service requirements to clients from economic modelling, energy planning and feasibility studies to detailed design and commissioning of networks and generation plants.
International Financial Institutions (IFI’s) There are many IFI’s globally (examples being European InvestmentBank(EIB),USAID,EuropeanBankofReconstruction and Development (EBRD), Asian Development Bank (ADB)). Many of these are tasked with distributing funds provided by individual countries, or blocks such as the EU, to drive carbon emission reduction on the basis of the UN agreements going back to the Kyoto Protocol. The District Heating (DH) sector has proven to be a useful investment sector for IFI’s in ex-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, due to their existing systems and the potential for modernisation with associated carbon reductions. Such DH system rehabilitation projects are initiated by the IFI’s, in partnership with the identified City and its associated DH utility. The drivers for the projects tends to be emission reduction through better energy efficiency, loan provision with interest repayment, and consumer condition improvement. These projects have an existing generation and distribution system and an existing consumer base. By their nature these are rehabilitation of existing system projects with limited integration of renewables or network expansion due to the reduced investment capacity of the loan takers (City and DH Company). Examples of such DH system rehabilitation projects in implementation today are the Cities of Zhytomyr, Lutsk
and Horishni Plavni in Ukraine. The approach for these cities is to improve the cost recovery of their DH utilities through modernisation and increasing heat tariffs accordingly. These tariffs are regulated and often are politically sensitive issues, which creates its own issues for cost recovery. Western European Cities Here we look at examples of Western European Cities and their drivers for district energising. Both the cities of Dublin in Ireland and Antwerp in Belgium are progressing their respective city DH enablement to take advantage of existing and proposed Waste to Energy (WtE) plants. Establishing DH networks for these cities will enable switching an initial consumer base from fossil fuel driven thermal energy supplies to a waste heat driven thermal supply, thus increasing the efficiencies of their respective WtE significantly and reducing the carbon intensity of the thermal demand in their cities. The city of Santa Coloma de Gramenet adjacent to Barcelona in Spain, has identified a potential geothermal source to drive the development of a DH system there. In each of these cases the respective cities have identified a low-grade heat source which could be used to substitute fossil fuel use if it can be distributed to consumers in a manner, they are accustomed to, such as the existing electrical and gas grids. As a result, these cities are planning to utilise DH to deliver this heat, although this method of thermal
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