By Steen Schelle Jensen, Head of Business Development – Heat/Cooling Solutions, Kamstrup

To meet future demands, district heating must become the most attractive option in terms of reliability, price, and colour. Utility professionals know this. What many of them don’t know is how to get there. Fast. The key lies in optimising across the entire value chain and balancing supply and demand better. Unlocking the demand side through end-user engagement and data-driven transparency is especially important. The good news is that ambitious utilities and solution providers are already leading the way with innovative digital solutions available today.

European district heating utilities are at a crossroads. While recognized as an established and proven technology today, there is little dispute that the future district heating system must be green, reliable, and attractive. At the same time, dis- trict heating has never been more relevant, necessary, or pop- ular – which means the pressure truly is on to connect more and more consumers and buildings to both new and existing district heating networks. The green transition is undeniably linked with low-temperature district heating. First and foremost, lowering flow and return temperatures is a prerequisite for integrating more renewable energy sources and waste heat. Secondly, it also allows district heating systems to be operated more efficiently – in terms of

energy as well as costs. And finally, reducing return tempera- tures is vital for utilities to ensure that they are utilising their existing network capacity to the fullest as they connect new buildings and end users. Involving the end users and putting frequent data from man- datory remotely read smart heat meters into play is critical to achieving all three things. Unlocking the demand side After years of intense focus on digitalising district heating, there’s no shortage of insights and digital tools tapping into which heat sources utilities should use or how to build and optimize their distribution network, etc. As a result, most util-

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