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District heating in future Europe: Modelling expansion potentials and mapping heat synergy regions
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9118-4375
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. , 90 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie, ISSN 0346-718X ; 3769
Keyword [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-27967Libris ID: 17294787ISBN: 978-91-7597-088-2 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-27967DiVA: diva2:794190
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
List of papers
1. Heat distribution and the future competitiveness of district heating
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heat distribution and the future competitiveness of district heating
2011 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 88, no 3, 568-576 p.Article 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
Keyword
District heating, distribution capital cost, heat density, waste heat, effective width, plot ratio.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-6015 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2010.09.020 (DOI)000285217400002 ()2-s2.0-78149360761 (Scopus ID)
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: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved
2. Effective Width: The Relative Demand for District Heating Pipe Lengths in City Areas
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effective Width: The Relative Demand for District Heating Pipe Lengths in City Areas
2010 (English)In: 12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling, Tallinn: Tallinn University of Technology , 2010, 128-131 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One key concept when assessing network investment cost levels for district heating systems is the linear heat density. In contrast to a traditional way of expressing this quantity entirely on the basis of empirical data, a recently developed analytical approach has made it possible to estimate linear heat densities on the basis of demographic data categories. A vital complementing quantity in this analytical approach is the concept of effective width.

Effective width describes the relationship between a given land area and the length of the district heating pipe network within this area. When modelling distribution capital cost levels by use of land area values for plot ratio calculations, there is a potential bias of overestimating distribution capital cost levels in low dense park city areas (e < 0.3). Since these areas often include land area sections without any housing, avoiding overestimations of network investment costs demand some kind of corrective mechanism.

By use of calculated effective width values, a compensating effect at low plot ratio levels is achieved, and, hence, renders lower anticipated distribution capital cost levels in low dense park city areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tallinn: Tallinn University of Technology, 2010
Keyword
District heating, linear heat density, park areas, plot ratio, target area
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-6014 (URN)2-s2.0-79952642762 (Scopus ID)978-9949-23-015-0 (ISBN)
Conference
12th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling; Tallinn, Estonia from September 5th to September 7th, 2010
Available from: 2010-09-29 Created: 2010-09-28 Last updated: 2015-03-12Bibliographically approved
3. District heating in sequential energy supply
Open this publication in new window or tab >>District heating in sequential energy supply
2012 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 95, 123-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increased recovery of excess heat from thermal power generation and industrial processes has great potential to reduce primary energy demands in EU27. In this study, current excess heat utilisation levels by means of district heat distribution are assessed and expressed by concepts such as recovery efficiency, heat recovery rate, and heat utilisation rate. For two chosen excess heat activities, current average EU27 heat recovery levels are compared to currently best Member State practices, whereby future potentials of European excess heat recovery and utilisation are estimated. The principle of sequential energy supply is elaborated to capture the conceptual idea of excess heat recovery in district heating systems as a structural and organisational energy efficiency measure. The general conditions discussed concerning expansion of heat recovery into district heating systems include infrastructure investments in district heating networks, collaboration agreements, maintained value chains, policy support, world market energy prices, allocation of synergy benefits, and local initiatives. The main conclusion from this study is that a future fourfold increase of current EU27 excess heat utilisation by means of district heat distribution to residential and service sectors is conceived as plausible if applying best Member State practice. This estimation is higher than the threefold increase with respect to direct feasible distribution costs estimated by the same authors in a previous study. Hence, no direct barriers appear with respect to available heat sources or feasible distribution costs for expansion of district heating within EU27. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Elsevier, 2012
Keyword
energy efficiency, sequential energy supply, district heating, excess heat recovery
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-17277 (URN)10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.02.021 (DOI)000303365900014 ()2-s2.0-84859420465 (Scopus ID)
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 within the Energy System” Project.

Available from: 2012-02-23 Created: 2012-02-23 Last updated: 2017-04-18Bibliographically approved
4. Heat Roadmap Europe: Combining district heating with heat savings to decarbonise the EU energy system
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heat Roadmap Europe: Combining district heating with heat savings to decarbonise the EU energy system
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 65, 475-489 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Six different strategies have recently been proposed for the European Union (EU) energy system in the European Commission’s report, Energy Roadmap 2050. The objective for these strategies is to identify how the EU can reach its target of an 80% reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 compared to 1990 levels. None of these scenarios involve the large-scale implementation of district heating, but instead they focus on the electrification of the heating sector (primarily using heat pumps) and/or the large-scale implementation of electricity and heat savings. In this paper, the potential for district heating in the EU between now and 2050 is identified, based on extensive and detailed mapping of the EU heat demand and various supply options. Subsequently, a new ‘district heating plus heat savings’ scenario is technically and economically assessed from an energy systems perspective. The results indicate that with district heating, the EU energy system will be able to achieve the same reductions in primary energy supply and carbon dioxide emissions as the existing alternatives proposed. However, with district heating, these goals can be achieved at a lower cost, with heating and cooling costs reduced by approximately 15%. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
Europe, district heating, mapping and modelling
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-24173 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.035 (DOI)000330813800047 ()2-s2.0-84890315283 (Scopus ID)
Note

The work presented was partly funded by Euroheat and Power. It is also the result of the Strategic Research Centre for 4th Generation District Heating Technologies and Systems (4DH), which is partly financed by the Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Available from: 2013-12-15 Created: 2013-12-15 Last updated: 2017-03-16Bibliographically approved
5. On the use of surplus electricity in district heating systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the use of surplus electricity in district heating systems
2014 (English)In: Proceedings from the 14th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling: September, 6-10, 2014: Stockholm, Sweden / [ed] Anna Land, Stockholm: Swedish District Heating Association , 2014, 469-474 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Maintained balance between supply and demand is a fundamental prerequisite for proper operation of electric power grids. For this end, power systems rely on accessibility to various balancing technologies and solutions by which fluctuations in supply and demand can be promptly met. In this paper, balancing approaches in the case of surplus electricity supply, due to long-term, seasonal, or short-term causes, are discussed on the basis mainly of compiled experiences from the Swedish national power grid. In Sweden, a structural long-term electricity surplus was created in the 1980s when several new nuclear plants were commissioned and built. One of four explicit domestic power-to-heat solutions initiated to maximize the utilization of this surplus electricity, as export capacities were limited, was the introduction of large scale electric boilers and compressor heat pumps in district heating systems. In retrospective, this solution not only satisfied the primary objective by providing additional electricity demand to balance the power grid, but represents today – from an energy systems perspective – a contemporary example of increased system flexibility by the attainment of higher integration levels between power and heat sectors. As European power supply will be reshaped to include higher proportions of fluctuating supply technologies (e.g. wind and solar), causing occasional but recurring short-term electricity surpluses, the unique Swedish experiences may provide valuable input in the development of rational responses to future balancing challenges. The main conclusions from this study are that district heating systems can add additional balancing capabilities to power systems, if equipped with electrical heat supply technologies, hereby contributing to higher energy system flexibility. Consequently, district heating systems also have a discrete but key role in the continued integration of renewable intermittent power supply technologies in the future European energy system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Swedish District Heating Association, 2014
Keyword
Power-to-heat
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26714 (URN)978-91-85775-24-8 (ISBN)
Conference
The 14th International Symposium on District Heating and Cooling, Stockholm, Sweden, 7-9 September, 2014
Note

The work presented in this paper is a result of the research activities of the Strategic Research Centre for 4th Generation District Heating (4DH), which has received funding from The Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Available from: 2014-10-13 Created: 2014-10-13 Last updated: 2017-08-09Bibliographically approved
6. Heat Roadmap Europe: Identifying strategic heat synergy regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Heat Roadmap Europe: Identifying strategic heat synergy regions
2014 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 74, 663-681 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study presents a methodology to assess annual excess heat volumes from fuel combustion activities in energy and industry sector facilities based on carbon dioxide emission data. The aim is to determine regional balances of excess heat relative heat demands for all third level administrative regions in the European Union (EU) and to identify strategic regions suitable for large-scale implementation of district heating. The approach is motivated since the efficiency of current supply structures to meet building heat demands, mainly characterised by direct use of primary energy sources, is low and improvable. District heating is conceived as an urban supply side energy efficiency measure employable to enhance energy system efficiency by increased excess heat recoveries; hereby reducing primary energy demands by fuel substitution. However, the importance of heat has long been underestimated in EU decarbonisation strategies and local heat synergies have often been overlooked in energy models used for such scenarios. Study results indicate that 46% of all excess heat in EU27, corresponding to 31% of total building heat demands, is located within identified strategic regions. Still, a realisation of these rich opportunities will require higher recognition of the heat sector in future EU energy policy. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
Energy efficiency, District heating, Excess heat recovery, Strategic heat synergy region, GIS mapping
National Category
Energy Systems Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26877 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2014.07.015 (DOI)000345470300063 ()2-s2.0-84924221311 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Heat Roadmap Europe
Note

The work presented in this paper is a result of the research activities of the Strategic Research Centre for 4th Generation District Heating (4DH), which has received funding from The Danish Council for Strategic Research. The analysis was also performed by financial support from Euroheat & Power in Brussels.

Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-03-16Bibliographically approved

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