WILL NEW OBJECTIVES, DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGIES CHANGE POSSIBILITIES FOR SUPPLIERS? Yes, new needed legislation ensuring energy conservation and flexibility will change possibilities for suppliers. The expansion of the DH system in China has until now mainly been driven by collecting excess heat from power production and to some extent from waste incineration plants. On the production side, it has been a job for producers to develop and produce suitable CHP products. On the supply side, pipe producers and producers of conventional pumps, valves and exchangers have been very busy. The basic network design has changed little since the beginning and the potential for new technologies are huge. The present and future objectives from the government regarding climate change and having a “Blue sky” will demand new solutions. In areas with heat demand, excess heat from industry will be more important. However, in areas with high annual cooling demand, excess heat will have to be used for producing cooling as well. The plan of using biomass for heating according to the previously mentioned plans for the 28 urban areas shows that a biomass development has started, but if the rest of China should follow this move, it is not sufficient with plans for just the 28 chosen areas. Cheap excess heat and biomass are not enough to achieve the stated climate objectives. The Chinese government will have to rethink the energy sector and establish a formalized heat and cooling planning legislation ensuring efficient, flexible and competitive solutions for residential, public and commercial district energy supply, including industrial heat supply. This will change the focus from planning DH in areas with available excess heat to planning DH and perhaps cooling in urban areas suitable for distributed energy solutions. A power market must be in operation, heat/cooling consumption must be metered and billed according to supply. Then the basic incentives for renewable and efficient energy conversion solutions are in place. 4th generation DH systems, solar heat, geothermal heat, large district heating heat/cooling pumps using low temperature heat sources, small and big biomass solutions, gasification solutions and heat storage will be some of the most important technologies for heating in the future.
Outside the DH sector the heat demand and supply cannot be found in any statistics. This means that predictions for the future size of the DH sector are tenuous and mostly based on present district heated floor area. In Figure 1, eight different prediction models are shown for the future size of the heated area in China.
Figure 1: Predicted heated area in China
The methodologies for predicting the heated area on Figure 1 vary. • The IEA-1 assumes all urban inhabitants have the same m2/ per capita as the provinces, where the highest value is in 2020. • The IEA-2 is the same as IEA-1 but includes expected urbanisation. • IEA-3 is the same as IEA-1, but all provinces are expected to have the same urbanisation as the provinces with the highest value in 2020. • IEA-4 expects the same energy production growth as population growth. • IEA-5 is the same as IEA-4, but here the energy consumption per person per heating days is the same as the province with highest value in 2020. • IEA-6 is the same as IEA-5, but here the urbanisation will peak like province with highest urbanisation. The heated area in Figure 1 does not include the development in heat production and use per square meter. Energy demand per square meter is expected to decrease due to energy conservation and new and more efficient buildings. Metering and billing alone are expected to save 8-14 % of the present produced energy per square meter . One of the first things that the Chinese government must change to reduce the energy consumption is to demand metering and payment according to actual supply. The legislation on this is yet to be decided due to resistance from existing heat suppliers, but it can be solved by introducing appropriate billing systems changing the government’s pricing system.
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