Conclusions By opting for multi-source operation and optimizing the heat generation capacities based on the relation between CAPEX and OPEX, district energy utilities can achieve multi-fold benefits, such as:

1. Reduced thermal generation cost compared to a single energy vector strategy.

2. Long-term stable and predictable thermal generation costs, as thermal generation cost from base load plants, will primarily be based on the initial investment cost and sig­ nificantly less on operating the thermal plant. 3. Significant opportunities to optimize which heat genera- tion technologies to operate at any given time, for exam- ple, based on the cost of the input energy (electricity, fuel, surplus heat, renewables). 4. Optimizing parameters other than cost, such as flexibility, can enable a heat generation mix that offers additional opportunities to take advantage of local conditions and energy spot markets, e.g., balancing services to the power system. Another important conclusion from above is that in district heating, the heat cost sensitivity to the heat generation tech- nology mix is low. With the low heat cost sensitivity district heating enables a wide range of technology combinations with stable and low heat costs. This is important as new sys- tems can be built with long-term planning, e.g., starting with a cheap peak load boiler and later when the system grows to build the CAPEX-intensive base load technology. This heat cost stability further enables district energy systems to take a lead- ing role in the future integrated energy system, with enormous upside potential and limited risk. For maximizing the benefits of multi-source operation, ther- mal energy storage options, and sector coupling potentials, district heating utilities can take advantage of digitalization options for optimizing the whole heat supply system, from the end-user to the heat generation, see [3] . By embracing the benefits and opportunities the infrastruc- ture offers, district energy systems can ensure their relevance today and in the future.

References [1] Technology Data. Danish Energy Agency. technology-data [2] The world’s largest untapped energy source: Excess heat. Danfoss Impact, issue no. 2, Danfoss A/S, 2023. tions/the-worlds-largest-untapped-energy-source-excess- heat [3] Pozzi, M., Thorsen, J.E., Gudmundsson, O., Marszal-Po- mianowska, A., Heiselberg, P., Jensen, S.S., Reus, A. and Koning, M.Digitalisation in District Heating and Cooling systems, Euroheat & Power, May 2023

For further information please contact: Oddgeir Gudmundsson,

18 HOTCOOL no.5 2023

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