HOT|COOL NO. 4/2018 - "Emerging District Heating Markets"


By Lars Gullev, Managing Director, VEKS


The necessary reduction of our energy consumption does not mean we will have to reduce the comfort of our buildings - no, we just have to act smarter than we have done so far. Not many people in Europe today are aware of the fact that the surplus heat from our production of electricity is larger than the total heat demand in Europe! By utilizing surplus heat from production of electricity and from industrial production - and utilizing it in intelligent district heating systems - it will be possible to save an energy amount corresponding to Europe's current total consumption of natural gas for heating. This is not a dream – documentation for this can be found in the heating and cooling project "Heat Roadmap Europe". We can, if we want to, but it requires for the politicians in the EU and in the individual countries to take responsibility and ensure the necessary robust framework conditions, which are a prerequisite for the long-term investments that must be made in the development of intelligent district heating systems. If the framework conditions are in place, it will ensure future generations to have the same opportunities of access to energy resources, which our generation has had.

In order for us to be able to pass on the planet to our children and grandchildren with an easy conscience, it is imperative that we use the resources we have access to in the most responsible way. This can be done, for example, by ensuring clean air and clean drinking water - but also by ensuring the highest possible efficiency when utilizing fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil and coal. In this respect, it is not only a goal to ensure as low CO2 emissions as possible in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, but also to utilize fossil fuel resources optimally for future generations. Fortunately, more and more countries choose to take active responsibility for cleaner air, for reducing CO2 emissions and for making better use of our resources. And in more and more countries, the answer is to expand district heating systems as a natural part of a modern, responsible society’s infrastructure. In this issue of Hot Cool, we focus on a range of different countries - France, Holland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium and Sweden. Countries where district heating is either a new player in the market or where district heating already has a significant market share. Everywhere, it is acknowledged that the cheapest way for a society to reduce CO2 emissions - while making the most of the energy resources - is to utilize surplus heat from, for example, electricity generation, waste incineration and industry. However, this is only possible if a district heating infrastructure is established, or has already been established, which allows surplus heat to be "collected" in one place, where there is no heat demand, and subsequently transported to a location through a district heating network, where there is a heating requirement. No other energy concept provides these options.

Could we give each other a more valuable Christmas present than that?


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