DBDH publishes Hot Cool, but the main business is helping cities or regions in their green transition. We will help you find specific answers for a sustainable district heating solution or integrate green technology into an existing district heating system in your region – for free! Any city, or utility in the world, can call DBDH and find help for a green district heating solution suitable for their city. A similar system is often operating in Denmark, being the most advanced district heating country globally. DBDH then organizes visits to Danish reference utilities or expert delegations from Denmark to your city. For real or virtually in webinars or web meetings. DBDH is a non-profit organization - so guidance by DBDH is free of charge. Just call us. We'd love to help you district energize your city!

NO. 4 / 2024



Sign up to receive Hot Cool



By Morten Jordt Duedahl 8 4





By Poul Rask Nielsen 10


By Maëlle Caussarieu 14

Scientist Corner HOW TO GET STARTED?

DBDH Stæhr Johansens Vej 38 DK-2000 Frederiksberg Phone +45 8893 9150

Editor-in-Chief: Lars Gullev, VEKS

Total circulation: 5.000 copies in 74 countries 10 times per year

Grafisk layout Kåre Roager,

Coordinating Editor: Linda Bertelsen, DBDH

ISSN 0904 9681

Aabenraa heat utility knows what quality looks like Every year since 1997, utilities across Denmark have dismounted and sent more than 60.000 Kamstrup heat meters to our accredited laboratory for testing. Measurement precision is the focus of the examination, and the test is completed according to ISO 2869 AQL 4 standards. The results underline what we strive for - a best in industry performance. This is something they have experienced first-hand at Aabenraa heating utility, where some of their current meters have been in operation for more than 25 years. The completed tests showed that meters installed in Aabenraa in average still lived up to verification requirements, and are therefore allowed another nine years in use, extending the possible lifespan up to 34 years for the meters installed back in 1996.

34 YEARS meter lifespan

“It is important for us to focus on quality to ensure a long lifecycle and reduced maintenance when choosing a metering solution.” ROBERT BRODERSEN, PRODUKTIONSCHEF AT AABENRAA FJERNVARME


New European legislation on local heating and cooling plans: IS THIS THE MOMENT WE KICK OUT FOSSIL FUELS?

By Adrian Hiel, Head of Media and Campaigns, Energy Cities

Local heating and cooling planning is coming to every city with over 45,000 people in Europe. It is hard to overstate how much of a game-changer this could be for district heating and Europe’s climate ambitions. The key word there is ‘could’.

Art. 25. 6 of the Recast Energy Efficiency Directive, which covers local heating and cooling planning, obliges member states to “support regional and local authorities to the utmost extent possible … including financial and technical support schemes.” It also requires member states to “ensure that heating and cooling plans are aligned with other local climate, energy, and environment planning requirements to avoid administrative burden for local and regional authorities and to encourage the effective implementation of the plans.”

The obligation to develop local heating and cooling plans has been agreed upon in Brussels in a very general way, with few details about how exactly it should be done. That means that how the directive is translated into national law will enormously influence what the final plans will look like. Will they be concrete plans based on the technological clarity of existing, trusted technologies like heat pumps and district heating? Or will they be technologically neutral plans based on fairy tales that one day there might be enough biomethane or that green hydrogen might one day be cheap and plentiful?


HOTCOOL no.4 2024

What should be in local heating and cooling plans? – An estimate, mapping, and strategy for increased energy efficiency (via low-temperature district heating readiness, high effi- ciency cogeneration, waste heat recovery, renewable energy in heating and energy for cooling in an area) – Analysis of heating and cooling appliances in buildings, including area-specific energy efficiency measures targeting worst performing buildings and vulnerable households – A plan to finance the implementation of policies and measures – A trajectory to achieve the goals of the plans in line with climate neutrality and a framework for monitoring progress.

The leaders, the learners, and the laggards It won’t come as a surprise to the readers of this magazine that only two countries, Denmark and the Netherlands, currently achieve an ‘Ideal mandate and supportive framework’. That said, we have seen substantial progress in Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, local heating and cooling are entirely absent in nearly half of EU member states’ legal frameworks.

That last bit is particularly key. Making plans is good. But bringing those plans to life is what really matters.

That is why Energy Cities has put together an online tracker of national heating and cooling policies to shine a light on which countries are doing well and which countries need to step up their game in the challenge of decarbonising heat. You can find the tracker at


What cities need Staff is obviously a massive need. But it’s not just heating and building engineers. To implement local heating and cooling plans, cities must hire IT, legal, HR, communications, and administrative support to allow the engineers to work effectively. To give a related example, a 2021 Energy Cities study on meeting Europe’s existing targets for building renovation estimated that 214,000 additional local staff were needed at a cost of about €16b per year. Current funding for heating and cooling is often project- based—a fixed sum for a fixed deliverable. However, this misses the secondary staffing needs for cities, and it means that the costs of the integrated planning needs mentioned above fall solely on the shoulders of cities. If the national and regional governments want to hit their targets as cost-effectively as possible, they must share some of that burden. Technological clarity vs technological neutrality Changing heating sources, especially from an individual solution to a collective solution like district heating, can significantly intervene in peoples’ homes and lives. This is fertile ground for incumbent natural gas providers to promise future solutions like biomethane or hydrogen as an easy, non- disruptive option. “The natural gas lobby is powerful and will try to convince us to tone it down using framing concepts. One of these framing concepts comes with the slogan ‘green gas everywhere for everything.’ But it’s easy to see through. Vienna has made it clear that it wants real change. Thus, phasing out gas means phasing out all gases in the building sector. This includes green gas, which is far too valuable to use for heating apartments,” said Jürgen Czernohorszky, Executive City Councillor for Climate, Environment, Democracy, and Personnel at the City of Vienna. It seems clear that the goal for some legacy natural gas providers is delay—allowing them to extract maximum value from their existing assets (the local gas grid) for the maximum amount of time. Unfortunately, time is not something we have in abundance, and having the technological clarity to rule out false solutions like biomethane and hydrogen domestic heating is a crucial first step.

In the Netherlands, for example, the local heating and cooling obligation has come with a good support framework–that is, the staff and finances to do good planning. But in other countries, such as Slovenia and Poland, we see a massive gap in staffing levels. Therefore, they are unable to develop plans with all the necessary components realistically. Cooling plans have melted. The largest red flag from our analysis of all EU member states is that cooling planning doesn’t exist anywhere. In a way, that is understandable. Cooling hasn’t been a life-or-death requirement in the same way as heating in the past. But those days are gone. Public health experts estimate that more than 61,000 people died from heat exposure during the summer of 2022. EU member states need to start from scratch to ensure that citizens can access cooling in an ever-hotter world. In Denmark, the provision of heat is a public service, while cooling is relegated to a commercial activity. It is rarely covered in building codes (mandating solar shading, for example), and peak cooling can cause significant challenges for the electricity grid and lead to power outages. It’s an important example of the kind of coordination needed between spatial planning and energy systems. Planning, planning, and planning Another general finding is that energy planning documents (including SECAPs - Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans) often lack detail and spatial dimensions. It’s impossible to coordinate plans effectively without the detail necessary for coordination. In the same vein, there needs to be more coordination between different levels of government and between different sectors at a local level. That means municipalities need more powers in planning regulation and building codes to regulate heating supply sources effectively. It also means that cities must coordinate heating and cooling planning with things like biodiversity investments and tree planting, which can be an essential part of a cooling strategy. Outside of municipalities, heat planning must be aligned with national climate targets, strategies, and objectives so that things like renovation subsidies are effectively targeted. There is little point in a national government subsidising a heat pump on a street where a city is planning district heating soon.


HOTCOOL no.4 2024

Need an Open Door for Open Data Good planning needs good data. Unfortunately, centralised access to energy-related geodata through databases and platforms is rarely available. This must be addressed at the national level, with an obligation for energy utilities and network operators to publish their data. The flip side of consumption data is access to building-related data (age, surface area, energy performance) to see where targeted interventions with public money can be made in private building stock for larger system- level benefits. Even where some of this data does exist and can be accessed by local authorities, it is rarely sufficiently detailed, accurate, and updated to allow the complex modeling and data treatment necessary for exceptional heating and cooling planning. What else needs to be done locally and nationally? There should be a legal mandate to force utilities to comply with local heating and cooling plans. While cities can often regulate district heating systems, the plans are frequently not reflected in gas infrastructure planning. Similarly, all legal obligations to connect buildings to natural gas networks must end. And again, cities should be able to quickly rule out some heating technologies from the building stock to achieve their climate goals. Nationally, the level of technical support is vital – especially for smaller cities. One national agency or ministry should be responsible for coordinating support for local authorities and launching a national program involving academic and scientific experts, local authorities, energy suppliers and distribution system operators, social housing, industries, and the building sector. This program should propose guidelines and tools and update them with new knowledge and lessons learned over the years. This technical support (both online and in-person) should include step-by-step guidance, calculation methodologies, tools, costs, etc., as well as training, peer-to-peer exchanges, working groups, and expertise. Amongst that expertise should be a list of trustworthy consulting companies that can support local authorities.

What did the EU ever do for us? The EU’s green deal includes many complementary measures to local heating and cooling plans that also need to be considered. National governments must plan to phase out fossil fuel boilers by 2040 (leaving the door open for biomethane and hydrogen boilers). Minimum energy performance standards were introduced, which are supposed to target the worst-performing buildings first. There is the mandatory use of waste heat from data centres, an installation level cost-benefit analysis for other waste heat producers, and a non-binding target to increase the share of energy from renewable sources and waste heat in district heating by 2.2 %/year from 2021 to 2030. So, is this the moment we kick out fossil fuels? This is still an open question. Because so many of the challenges remain in the hands of national EU governments, it seems clear that different countries will move at different speeds. But there is so much that can be learned from the front-running countries to transform the laggards into leaders themselves.

For further information please contact: Adrian Hiel,



District heating can make you think of many things – for me, it is not often that Robbie Williams is in the back of my head singing along to a DH podcast about very large heat pumps. Nevertheless, that is what Raymond Decorvet from MAN Energy Solutions and Claus A. Nielsen from Esbjerg DH company (Din Forsyning) managed to do during a podcast about large heat pumps and how to include them in the heat portfolio for a large DH company in Denmark.

Claus talks about portfolio thinking –these heat pumps fit well into the entire energy system. They are flexible and integrate with the electricity system, so Din Forsyning can provide bal- ancing services and stabilisation to the grid, hence absorbing more renewable energy when there is too much of it and not using it when there is too little. Here, the ability to ramp up in a very short time is crucial. Before listening to the podcast, please consider how fast you think the heat pumps can increase the input by 8MW. How many seconds? Lean back and enjoy many technical details about refrigerants, electricity, and compressors, and learn more about how best to integrate with the entire energy system. There is a need worldwide. Mega Heat Pumps are one way forward to a green transition, and both our experts agree. It's up to you whether you like heat pumps more or less than Robbie Williams. But if you are willing to change, let heat pumps be the energy!!

In Esbjerg, in the southwest part of Denmark, they are currently installing what is believed to be the largest heat pump instal- lation in the world for district heating. It is based on seawater; CO2 is the refrigerant and is an essential part of moving heat- ing in Esbjerg away from fossil fuels towards sustainable heat sources. Sizes are not easy to give precisely, as you will learn in the podcast – but it is around two times 33 MW heat under ref- erence conditions. Large and new in many ways – Claus shares many more details in the podcast. Din Forsyning expects to finish the project by the end of May 2024. It all started in 2014 when the first transition plan for phasing out a coal-fired power plant was started. Biomass could be an idea, but with Esbjerg being placed on the west coast of Denmark with a lot of renewable power coming in from the offshore wind turbines, there could be other solu- tions. In 2019, the detailed project development started – and the sea water was the best option in combination with a heat pump. Then, a tender process started for what Raymond calls Mega Heat Pumps – up to 50MW and also manage high tem- peratures (up to 120C). The project was given to MAN in 2020 – and then took off.

Welcome to DBDHs district heating podcasts. In this series of podcasts, we invite experts from the industry to highlight important and current developments in our industry. The goal is to share knowledge, to inspire and maybe also to provoke a bit – to give insights. And I always ask the experts to share one recommendation each.

This is the DBDH district heating podcast, and your host is Morten Jordt Duedahl.


HOTCOOL no.4 2024

Meet the experts

Raymond C. Decorvet, Senior Account Executive , MAN Energy Solutions Global Business Development Heat-Pumps & ETES Power Storage (LDES)

Claus A. Nielsen, Director of Business Development DIN Forsyning, Esbjerg

Podcast links:

Apple Podcasts Connect


Google Podcasts for Android




Locally produced excess heat contributes to the transition towards becoming 100% fossil-free in the municipality of Hjoerring, Denmark. It contributes to increasing independence from international energy prices and crises. At the same time, a much stronger connection is created between the

companies and the local society. This is a real win-win situation:

The price of district heating decreases, and the companies achieve a greener profile and increased goodwill from the local society.

By Poul Rask Nielsen, Senior Project Manager, Hjoerring Municipality

Strategic energy planning The municipality of Hjoerring works consciously to create the conditions for being an attractive settlement for citizens and businesses including good infrastructure (heating, electricity, water, IT, and transport). In the strategic energy planning, the focus is on the production of energy in the municipality being green, based on local energy resources: Electricity, hydrogen, and heat from wind turbine and solar cell parks, biogas plants, as well as excess heat from cold stores and freezers, hydrogen and biochar production. Recently, the city council has approved the initiation of planning work around 22 solar photovoltaic plant (PV) and wind farms totaling 1.7 GW, as well as a significant expansion of the seven existing large locally owned biogas plants. Most unconnected homes are located in the countryside and heated with individual solutions. A few villages are heated by natural gas. In the next few years, a transformation to individual

electrically powered heat pumps is taking place. Some villages recently switched to district heating in connection with the international energy crisis. A view from the mayor's desk over the municipality Cheap locally produced district heating provides independence from fluctuations in international energy prices. It contributes to developing the local society, which rests upon an economically strong and stable foundation. The use of surplus heat from local industry increases cohesion between the local society and industry. It is a win-win both from the perspective of the heat consumers, who get cheaper heat, and the perspective of the companies, who secure both a financial side income and goodwill from their production. The case below from the city of Vraa also shows that new jobs are being established and job creation is taking place in the local society, where previously, for many years, there has been the classic migration from rural areas like Hjoerring towards the larger cities.

10 HOTCOOL no.4 2024

The municipality of Hjoerring’s perspective • 64,000 inhabitants • 11 district heating plants, all owned by the citizens as co-operatives. Organized through voluntary boards, elected at annual meetings. • 66% of the homes are connected to district heating.

Mayor Søren Smalbro "It would be great if all the municipality's district heating companies in the future would be connected by a common transmission grid. I expect in the future, with the development that is on the way, there will be far more industrial surplus heat than today. With the transmission grid, it will be possible to use the cheapest heat source as a supplier to the municipality's 11 district heating plants. Perhaps central heat storage should also be established, which will collect and store the fluctuating heat production throughout the year. The accumulated heat can be stored for use in the coldest winter months. Cheap heating based on locally produced green energy is an important part of the central infrastructure, which helps to create the foundation for a municipality to a strong development for both citizens and businesses."


The case Vraa •

Facts about Vraa

A small town in growth

2,500 inhabitants

• The new school and daycare center have won national awards for sustainable construction. • Surrounded by farmland, the city has, among other things, two grain and feed stores and several new industrial companies due to its roots.

Energy Park Vraa

Just outside the city are two well-established large biogas plants. One of them has also recently built a pyrolysis plant. A transmission district heating grid has been established from the two biogas plants to the city's district heating plant. Both supply excess heat as derived effects from the production of biogas and pyrolysis. In addition, there is a solar park and a wind farm on the way, which are expected to be established within the next two years. Both biogas plants have major expansion plans in the near future. Vraa Heating Plant The district heating plant in Vraa is being transformed to use locally produced energy and is being electrified. The goal is heating with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2024. The heat demand is generally growing, and natural gas must be phased out at the same time. It is, therefore, interesting to connect excess heat to the mix of heat sources. Economically, excess heat is interesting; it is affordable both in terms of investment and heat delivery. The excess heat supplier makes the investment in the transmission grid, and once paid for, the supply of the heat must be renegotiated. The disadvantage

The energy park is to the right with solar panels (dotted lines) and wind turbines (stars), 2 biogas plants, from which two transmission lines lead to Vrå heating plant.

Chairman Vraa Fjernvarme, Niels Henrik Nielsen: ” We would like to become 100% free of fossil fuels. At the same time, we have a city that is growing with new homes and businesses. Today, almost all homes and businesses in Vraa are heated by district heating. Today, heat production takes place in a mix of different sources: solar collectors, electric boilers, excess heat from the two biogas plants, accumulation tanks, and a natural gas boiler as backup and for peak load production in the coldest months.”

2022 Natural gas Solar heat Electric boiler (electricity) Heat from Green Gas

12 HOTCOOL no.4 2024

Solar collectors and storage tank.

Vrejlev Bioenergy, points out that it is a trust-based agreement between his company and the Vraa Varmevaerk - it is a win- win for both Vrejlev Bioenergy and Vraa Varmevaerk. The district heating consumers get cheaper locally produced heat, and Vrejlev Bioenergy gets local goodwill. As CEO Thomas Kjær says, "We live here and give back to the local community as a “thank you” for being allowed to fill the landscape with our plant and many lorry transports". If CEO Thomas Kjær looks into the future, he wishes, like the mayor, to have established a district heating transmission grid between several heating plants. So that he can supply excess heat all year round and not have to spend money on cooling in the summer. At the same time, he sees opportunities to deliver far more excess heat from various sources in his company. For example, the amount of excess heat could be increased by cooling the slurry before it is brought out to the field if a heat pump is connected.

of using an external heat supplier is that the supplier has no obligation to supply. Therefore, the supplier is responsible for investing in the district heating transmission grid. Pt. the heating plant has an application pending with the municipality for the establishment of a heat pump that must be powered by locally produced green electricity from the nearby energy park. A memorandum of understanding has been drawn up on the purchase of electricity from the future wind turbines. Vrejlev Bioenergy Vrejlev Bioenergy originated from a larger farm that established a biogas plant a few years ago. The plant has been continuously expanded and today supplies upgraded biogas to the national natural gas grid. Together with the other large biogas plants in the area, they have established a company that plans to sell biogenic CO2. The company is now being further developed with a pyrolysis plant that produces biochar from fibers, which are a residual product from biogas production. Biochar binds CO2 and can be returned to the soil, where the carbon is bound for hundreds of years. The new facility will be commissioned in April 2024. One of the residual products from biochar production is waste heat. From the beginning, surplus heat was planned for the local district heating plant “Vraa Varmevaerk.” A district heating transmission line of 2.8 km has been established, where Vrejlev Bioenergy owns the transmission pipe. Vrejlev Bioenergy owns the transmission pipe - and not Vraa Varmevaerk - because Vrejlev Bioenergy does not have an obligation to supply district heating. Therefore, it would be too risky for Vraa Varmevaerk to take the investment up front. The transmission pipe has depreciated over five years. Vrejlev Bioenergy can initially supply 1.6 – 1.7 MW/year and more in the future. The heat is distributed throughout the year. In the period from May to August, the company cools the heat away, as the district heating company covers the summer heat demand using its own solar panels. CEO Thomas Kjær,

For further information please contact: Poul Rask Nielsen,



Since the invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Government, European countries find them- selves stuck in a painful situation. While eager to stop importing natural gas from Russia, they are at the same time extensively reliant on Russian natural gas for their energy supply and economy. So, then what? How should European cities get started on the green transition and reduce their natural gas dependency?

By Maëlle Caussarieu, Energy Planner, PhD, Municipality of Copenhagen

Such a critical situation is not unprecedented; crises have prompted changes in energy supply systems in the past. For example, the Fukushima nuclear disaster provoked the closing of nuclear plants in Germany, and the oil crisis of 1973 prompted the further development of district heating (DH) in Denmark. Shocks and crises can be the spark that drives energy transitions. They can provoke new understandings and uses of already known technology, and district heating may be one of them. DH has significant potential to mitigate climate change, lower European reliance on Russian natural gas, supply low- cost heating, and improve air quality. In this article, I will present some findings from the DH development in Denmark and argue why these historical and contemporary examples have relevance today. I will here present two arguments also developed in my Ph.D. thesis. First, from the Danish Government’s response to the oil crisis, I show how creating a common regulatory regime was central to facilitating the large-scale deployment of DH. Second, based on the case of Albertslund municipality, I show that local parameters are essential in energy transition processes. Establishing and developing district heating in Denmark District heating: a response to a crisis Before the 1970s in Denmark, there were no dedicated energy planning procedures or regulative authorities. Municipality- owned DH companies were standard in the larger cities – and often, the DH supply was based on surplus heat from waste incineration plants. But when the 1973 oil crisis hit Denmark, the oil price increased by nearly 400%, seriously striking the country’s economy. With this oil embargo, Denmark realized that concerted action was needed to lower the dependency on imported oil, and an all- new Danish Energy Policy era started. Fuel diversification and energy savings became the main priorities at the national

and municipal levels, and DH became the backbone of the Government’s strategy. Politicians and regulators realized the potential to exploit waste heat resources from electricity generation and waste incineration plants to increase energy efficiency. The Government thus recategorized DH from an available surplus heat source to necessary energy infrastructure. Establishing such large-scale infrastructures was nonetheless not done overnight. In the following section, I expose some of the elements that made this deployment feasible in Denmark and which may provide aspects of the answer as to “how to get started.” The importance of national regulation for local developments When the Danish Government realized the need to develop DH to reduce oil dependency, they established the Danish Energy Agency (DEA). This new regulative authority was tasked to create procedures, plans, and regulations to support and guide energy developments. The Danish Energy Agency soon signed the Heat Supply Act (1979), the first law regarding DH in Denmark. The Act holds the municipalities responsible for developing local DH infrastructures and most created municipally owned or cooperative companies to be in charge of these developments. This means that the new task of developing DH was in the hands of the local public practitioners. Yet, the DEA’s common planning practices guided this local and public task. Two regulations from the Heat Supply Act must be highlighted: the hvile-i-sig-selv principle (literally “rest upon itself”) and the socio-economic calculations. The “ hvile-i-sig-selv ” principle stipulates that no profits can be made from the production and trade of heat. It stipulates which costs can be covered in the heating price and therefore secure the customers against possible abuses. The end- users were and are thereby ensured to obtain the lower

14 HOTCOOL no.4 2024

Copenhagen caught my attention as it first appeared to me as a site without subsequent resources to engage in energy system change. The municipality was said to have social and ethnic divides, a high rate of residents relying on social assistance, and a deteriorated housing fabric. Nevertheless, the city was embarking on transitioning its “traditional” DH grid into the so-called “4th Generation DH grid”. Such a transition is acknowledged in the scientific literature as requiring significant transformations such as low return temperature, low-temperature energy sources, low consumption, grid boosters, etc. How would and was a city with little means to engage in such an extensive transition? The answer lies in the ‘situatedness’ of the case; for the municipality, carrying out this agenda was not just a matter of energy transition but also a pragmatic way of revitalizing the city and dealing with the deteriorating housing fabric. As a matter of fact, the municipality of Albertslund was built over a little ten years – from 1963 to 1973; due to the pressing need for housing, the urban planners of the time decided to use prefabricated houses in a grid- like model to expand the city rapidly and with a standardized and affordable housing. But these prefabricated houses did not handle the wet Danish weather very well, and the problem of humidity and mold arose gradually. To tackle these challenges, the municipality and the DH practitioners decided that they would solve the devitalizing urban fabric. At the same time, embark the city on the green

heat prices possible and to pay a fair amount for their heat supply. This principle, together with the local ownership of the infrastructure, has grounded trust between the customers and their heat suppliers over time. The socio-economic calculations provided a framework for the public companies to deal with the uncertainties related to energy planning. They were and still are nationally defining the references and baseline scenarios upon which practitioners are to base energy investment decisions. They assist the practitioners in assessing how to reach energy objectives in the most appropriate way for society while considering the territorial parameters. In other words, the DEA provided national guidelines while leaving enough room for the local practitioners to consider their own locality. These national calculations thus enabled the local practitioners to continually find the most cost-efficient and environmentally friendly ways of heat supply. This framework has, over time, established a sense of commitment from the public practitioners to the infrastructures at stake. Many say that these regulations are two key elements that have enabled a fast and solid further development of DH in Denmark, despite the lack of prior knowledge and plenty of uncertainties related to energy planning. These elements have, over time, grounded a sense of commitment to the task of doing something important for the good of society. It has enabled the practitioners to implement new systems and technologies despite many uncertainties and provided them with enough stability to navigate their world. District heating is bounded to the local parameters. DH systems are locally bounded systems, and it is, therefore, primordial to consider the territorial parameters. This section underlines this point through the example of one of my Ph.D. case studies, namely the energy transition of Albertslund municipality. This city of nearly 30,000 inhabitants 15 km from


tariff systems and Smartphone applications. They even made available information about energy renovation funds and good practices by creating a website (and soon a catalogue) where citizens could get oriented about what to do and why it was important to reduce the temperature in the grid. The municipality is so far keeping on target, with a new milestone of having a 60ºC supply temperature by 2026. This case emphasizes the importance of the local conditions when embarking on an energy system transition. In Albertslund, from the very local parameters have emerged ways of transforming the energy system, thereby enhancing the municipality and inhabitants’ lives.

transition. They decided in 2015 that by 2025, the heat supply temperature would be decreased from 80-90oC to 60-70oC.

To achieve this target, the practitioners installed Smart Meters, used drones to identify heat losses in the grid, and developed new services ensuring the efficient operation of their customers' heat units. Communication with the inhabitants was also a significant part of the strategy; the utility spent a great deal of workforce engaging in dialogue with their inhabitants, measuring dwellings' radiators sizes and insulation layers, all to develop interactive maps to communicate about low- temperature grids. They also incentivized their customers in understanding (and reducing) their consumption with new


Policy insights to support DH systems development Getting started requires two main conditions: having adequate regulation at the national level to provide a common framework of decision-making practices and considering the local parameters of the sites in which the transitions are materializing. Energy systems are deeply influenced by how practitioners create, operate, and maintain them. These systems are bounded by how energy practitioners, city planners, engineers, system managers, and politicians operate and work with the infrastructures at hand. Deep

transformations, such as getting rid of natural gas will require new ways of working together. Urban and heat planning must be performed together to ensure space for decentral heating productions. National policy must help redirect investments from gas and other fossil fuel sources to renewable production. Communication with end-users must be improved, and heat planning must continue to be a public responsibility for the security of supply and sovereignty. In other terms, energy transitions demand a new paradigm of working together.

Maëlle Caussarieu

What makes this subject exciting to you? I knew nothing about DH when I started my research. It is not a well-developed technology in France, where I come from. But while talking with the actors, understanding their reasonings, and witnessing how they are trying to make a difference with this degree of commitment, I became very enthusiastic about this infrastructure. DH may not sound very appealing, but it is and will become a hot topic in the coming years; I do not doubt that.. What will your findings do for DH? Time will tell! I am now working as an energy planner at the municipality of Copenhagen and hope that I will contribute to the development of the regional DH infrastructure. The challenges ahead of us are great, and the uncertainties are aplenty. I am very curious about what the system will look like in 10, 15, and 30 years. And if I see the establishment of a few heat pumps within Copenhagen in the coming years, I could consider having somehow contributed to the field!.

For further information please contact: Maëlle Caussarieu,

16 HOTCOOL no.4 2024

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker