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Heat distribution and the future competitiveness of district heating
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Energiteknik.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9118-4375
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Biological and Environmental Systems (BLESS), Energiteknik.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9069-0807
2011 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 88, no 3, p. 568-576Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The competitiveness of present and future district heating systems can be at risk when residential and service sector heat demands are expected to decrease in the future. In this study, the future competitiveness of district heating has been examined by an in depth analysis of the distribution capital cost at various city characteristics, city sizes, and heat demands. Hereby, this study explores an important market condition often neglected or badly recognised in traditional comparisons between centralised and decentralised heat supply.

By a new theoretical approach, the traditional and empirical expression for linear heat density is transformed into an analytical expression that allows modelling of future distribution capital cost levels also in areas where no district heating exists today. The independent variables in this new analytical expression are population density, specific building space, specific heat demand and effective width.

Model input data has primarily been collected from national and European statistical sources on heat use, city populations, city districts and residential living areas. Study objects were 83 cities in Belgium, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The average heat market share for district heat within these cities was 21 % during 2006.

The main conclusion is that the future estimated capital costs for district heat distribution in the study cities are rather low, since the cities are very dense. At the current situation, a market share of 60 % can be reached with a marginal distribution capital cost of only 2.1 €/GJ, corresponding to an average distribution capital cost of 1.6 €/GJ. The most favourable conditions appear in large cities and in inner city areas. In the future, there is a lower risk for reduced competitiveness due to reduced heat demands in these areas, since the increased distribution capital cost is low compared to the typical prices of district heat and competing heat supply. However, district heating will lose competitiveness in low heat density areas. Hence, reduced heat demands in high heat density areas are not a general barrier for district heating in the future. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Elsevier , 2011. Vol. 88, no 3, p. 568-576
Keywords [en]
District heating, distribution capital cost, heat density, waste heat, effective width, plot ratio.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-6015DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.09.020ISI: 000285217400002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-78149360761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-6015DiVA, id: diva2:353604
Projects
Pathways - Swedish System Solutions
Note

This analysis was performed by financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency through the Swedish System Solutions Project and from Fjärrsyn, the Swedish district heating research programme, through the District Heating System Technology Project.

Available from: 2010-09-28 Created: 2010-09-28 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Realise the Potential!: Cost Effective and Energy Efficient District Heating in European Urban Areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Realise the Potential!: Cost Effective and Energy Efficient District Heating in European Urban Areas
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Member States of EU27 need to accelerate the integration of energy efficient technology solutions to reach the 20% energy efficiency target set for 2020. At current pace, projections indicate that only half of expected primary energy reductions will be reached. To meet the energy demands of growing populations and a vibrant economy, while simultaneously reducing primary energy supplies, the European continent faces a new kind of challenge never previously encountered. The identification and application of feasible, competitive, and comprehensive solutions to this problem are of highest priority if the remaining gap is to be closed in time. How is this multi-dimensional and complex dilemma to be dissolved? In this work, expanded use of district heating technology is conceived as a possible solution to substantially reduce future primary energy demands in Europe. By extended recovery and utilisation of vast volumes of currently disregarded excess heat from energy and industry sector fuel transformation processes, district heating systems and combined generation of heat and power can improve the general efficiency of the European energy balance. To investigate the possible range of this solution, this thesis introduces a set of methodologies, theoretical concepts, and model tools, by which a plausible future excess heat utilisation potential, by means of district heat deliveries to residential and service sectors, is estimated. At current conditions and compared to current levels, this potential correspond to a threefold expansion possibility for directly feasible district heating systems in European urban areas and a fourfold increase of European excess heat utilisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gothenburg: Chalmers University of Technology, 2011. p. 57
Keywords
District heating, energy efficiency, distribution capital cost, heat density, plot ratio, excess heat recovery, sequential energy supply, heat utilisation, effective width
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-17281 (URN)
Presentation
2011-12-21, EA-salen, Hörsalsvägen 11, Gothenburg, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-02-24 Created: 2012-02-23 Last updated: 2014-03-05Bibliographically approved
2. District heating in future Europe: Modelling expansion potentials and mapping heat synergy regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>District heating in future Europe: Modelling expansion potentials and mapping heat synergy regions
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a set of methodologies and approaches to investigate and determine the extent by which district heating can contribute to improved energy system efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions in future Europe. The main motivation for suggesting large-scale implementation of district heating as a structural energy efficiency measure to obtain these objectives originates essentially in the predicament that a majority of European buildings today remain highly dependent on fossil fuels to provide energy needed for space heating and hot water preparation. In parallel, vast annual volumes of rejected excess heat from European power plants and industries are mainly neglected and lost unutilised to the ambient surroundings, why extended recovery and utilisation of such secondary energy assets realistically could replace significant shares of current inefficient supplies by fuel substitution. A prerequisite, however, for the viability of this logical prospect, is that infrastructures by which to facilitate excess heat recovery and subsequent network heat distribution are in place, which by no means is the average case in contemporary Europe.

Hereby, the investigation is structured orderly by first establishing whether district heating can be a competitive alternative on current urban European heat markets, facilitated by a distribution capital cost model, where after the energy systemic benefits of expanding district heating are characterised and used to estimate a plausible expansion potential based on comparative analysis. Next, energy system modelling of continental EU27 by the year 2050, with district heating expanded in alignment with this potential, is performed to assess the total energy system cost benefits relative an alternative scenario focusing mainly on individual energy efficiency measures. Finally, spatial mapping to identify current primary target regions from which large-scale implementation of district heating could emanate is conceived and performed by use of a geographical information systems interface.

The findings are generally supportive of a realisation of the objectives, mainly so by establishing a three-fold directly feasible expansion potential for district heating in city areas, but recognise also several additional, mainly non-technical, issues and challenges necessary to address in a successful transition to more energy efficient supply structures in future Europe.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Chalmers University of Technology, 2015. p. 90
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie, ISSN 0346-718X ; 3769
Keywords
district heating, energy efficiency, distribution capital cost, heat demand density, plot ratio, excess heat recovery, sequential energy supply, heat utilisation rate, effective width
National Category
Energy Systems Energy Engineering Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-27967 (URN)978-91-7597-088-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-08, Hörsal HC3, Hörsalsvägen 14, Göteborg, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-11 Created: 2015-03-10 Last updated: 2015-03-11Bibliographically approved

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