HOT|COOL NO. 2/2020 - "Decarbonizing"

Quantitative results are key to prioritize long-term scenarios

Strategic heating planning is the unavoidable step towards decarbonization Cities are not the only potential user of Hotmaps. The tool can support consultancy companies advising local authorities in the development of their sustainable energy and climate action plans, and utilities willing to identify new potential geographical areas to be supplied by district heating. The elaboration of spatially differentiated strategic plans for different districts of a city will avoid uncoordinated projects, harmonizing energy, and urban planning. The ultimate goal is to decarbonize the building stock, which would be beneficial for the entire heating and cooling sector and the economies of cities. Utilities and consultancy companies have thus interest in collaborating with cities to build shared local visions. The tool can also be used to support strategic macro-planning processes on a national level, such as the update of the comprehensive assessment of efficiency in H&C. According to article 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the EU Member States have to perform this exercise by the end of 2020. Several governments have already expressed their interest in using Hotmaps. “The Hotmaps toolbox has been useful to identify and verify additional resources in our area, not just for heating/cooling networks, but other sources of locally generated energy.” Jeremy Draper, Senior Practitioner Milton Keynes

The Hotmaps toolbox was developed together with cities, to make it useful for local/regional/national authorities, and urban planners. Seven European pilot areas have been successfully testing it, to develop their heating or cooling strategies: Aalborg (Denmark), Bistrita (Romania), Frankfurt (Germany), Geneva (Switzerland), Kerry County (Ireland), Milton Keynes (UK) and San Sebastián (Spain). These strategies have identified promising scenarios for a decarbonized H&C sector in 2050 with a mix of building renovation, district heating, and decentralized renewable systems. They resulted from qualitative and quantitative analyses as well as discussions with stakeholders and revealed interesting opportunities on the way forward. Thanks to the Hotmaps toolbox, cities could identify the cheapest supply areas for different types of district heating grids systems. For example, it turned out that investing in a district heating grid connected to a waste incineration plant together with using excess heat in the wastewater treatment plant could be an economically interesting option for the City of Bistrita, and should be further explored. In Geneva, there are great opportunities for using the ambient heat of lake water in a low-temperature district heating grid. For Frankfurt, the exploitation of heat sources using different types of heat pumps feeding into district heating grids will be one of the pillars of a decarbonized heating system. Industrial excess heat, excess heat from data centers, river water, and ground heat will play a key role in this context. However, due to the high heat density in the city and the limitations for renewable energy and excess heat sources to provide peak power, a strong focus will also lie in reducing energy demand. A reduction of the space and water heating demand of around 50% by the year 2050 might be needed to meet CO 2 emission reduction targets. Thanks to Hotmaps, users can obtain a large-scale vision of the whole city, allowing them to identify energy-related issues very easily. Hotmaps helps gather all the information required to identify planning priorities for the future and can be used as a decision-making tool, to create different energy scenarios. It helped cities to bring together all the actors of the energy sector, to refine their knowledge of the territory, and to share data and analysis.

For further information please contact: Lukas Kranzl,

“Thanks to Hotmaps, we have a quick overview of where the heat demand is high enough to invest in district heating pipelines. This enables us to easily identify hot spots, which our energy utility can then investigate in more detail. A strategy across city boundaries is also made easy with the default data.” Paul Fay, Deputy Head of the Energy Office of Frankfurt

1) 2) 1 TU Wien Energy Economics Group - Technical University Vienna; – University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland; Fraunhofer Institute for System and Innovation Research; CREM - Centre de Recherches Energétiques et Municipales; EURAC – Institute for Renewable Energy; eThink – Energy Research; 3) More information on Hotmaps data collection process is available at https:// and

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