HOT|COOL NO. 3/2019 - "Big Markets: China and Poland


1200 MW CHP coal plant with cooling fans to the left on picture – currently supplying heat for the new town area in Tongchuan, but it has the capacity to supply much more.


By Senior Advisor John Tang, Danish Energy Agency (Beijing)

China is and will continue to be the world’s largest market for district heating solutions and new technologies. The district heating market in China is expected to grow 2 to 3 times in size in the coming 30 years and supply heat for 400 to 600 million people. The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) is part of this development and has made a demonstration project in the Chinese city, Tongchuan. The project focuses on the use of a District Heating Assessment Tool (DHAT) made for heat planning, which is widely used in other bilateral partnership programs managed by the DEA and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If the results from the Danish demonstration project can be implemented in other urban areas in China with a similar heat demand, the proven CO2-saving potential would be between 326 and 652 million ton CO2 annually, solely from converting individual heating to district heating – equal to between 8 and 17 times the Danish annual CO2- emission in 2018. District heating (DH) has been present in China for more than 30 years in large urban areas. Statistics show that the DH supply was approximately 1.2 billion MWh in 2016, covering more than 8.4 billion m2 heated floor area. Depending on size and energy consumption per household, it can be estimated that approximately 80 million households or more than 200 million

people in China are supplied by DH in 2016. The figures are comprehensive but show that only 27 % of the estimated heat demand in China is supplied by DH. The expansion of DH has been fast and concentrated in the Northern areas with cold winters. The question is: Will it continue? Can it be predicted how large the DH sector will be? Will new public objectives, development and technologies change the picture and the possibilities for suppliers? This article will try to answer these questions. WILL DISTRICT HEATING CONTINUE TO EXPAND IN CHINA? Yes, DH will expand heavily during the next 10 to 20 years, but changes have to be implemented in the same time to ensure further expansion. Presently, around half of the population in China is living in rural areas and it is expected that the urbanization will continue but at a lower rate compared to the past. This creates a demand for new urban buildings, and in areas with DH, these will be connected to the system, and DH will thereby be expanded. The standard of living in China is improving and the living area per person will increase in urban areas just like in other countries. This will also make the DH sector grow in China.

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