Supporting a fast implementation of low-grade renewable energy and waste heat for DHC in Europe
October 2023 – September 2027
In the next three decades, the transformation of the DHC sector to reach the overall goal of a carbon=neutral Europe by 2050 will be particularly challenging for owners and operators of DHC systems and all related stakeholders, such as authorities, involved in this process. The main challenges they will face are:
- the necessary investments in the DHC infrastructure and related implementation efforts itself are enormous
- the upcoming definition for energy efficient DHC in Article 24 of the EED revision will define a clear roadmap until 2050 and thus requires a holistic transformation planning of DHC operators for decarbonizing their DHC systems in line with the EED, and
- technologies such as low-grade renewable energies (RE) and waste heat (WH) are new to many operators and create the need of technical support to many subprocesses of DHC transformation and investment planning.
Thus, the overall objective of the SUPPORT DHC project is to address these challenges by supporting a fast implementation of low-grade renewable energy and waste heat for DHC in Europe.
The overall objective is achieved by facilitating and concretely supporting DHC operators in drawing-up of transformation plans and in particular concrete investment plans for a fast implementation of low-grade RE and WH for DHC in six European countries (AT, DE, IT, LT, PL, UA). The SUPPORT DHC project, in cooperation with involved DHC operators, demonstrates such processes and lead to investments on the ground for a variety of EU-wide DHC system cases.
SUPPORT DHC project will
- support a fast implementation of low-grade renewable energy and waste heat for 38 DHC operators in Europe in drawing-up their investment plans in 11 frontrunners cases and in 27 follower cases. The project aims to extend support to more than 100 DHC operators through replication.
- demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility and replicability of the transition to the ‘efficient district heating and cooling’ criteria of high-temperature DHC systems of the frontrunner and follower cases. This shall lead to a higher number of DHC operators transforming their systems along the EED criteria.
- deliver relevant support for over 50 (576) M€ investment, leading to 73 (848) GWh/a primary energy savings, 37 (530) GWh/a RES and 29 (251) GWh/a WH use, and 16,500 (210,000) t CO2eq/a reductio n, which shall lead to a mitigation of climate change, decrease dependency on fossil fuels and positive societal impacts such as the creation of jobs and mitigation of energy poverty.
- reduce significantly pollutants (e.g. particulate matter) through the integration of low-grade RE and WH in DHC systems. This shall lead to improved air quality and thus health conditions, especially in cities.
- reduce the dependency of DHC systems in Europe on natural gas by increasing the use of lowgrade RE and WH in the DHC sector and by saving 67 (771) Gwh/a final energy.
- increase the capacity of 408 (1,088) representatives of DHC owners/operators and other market stakeholders to implement the investments necessary for the integration of low-grade RE or WH in high temperature DHC systems.
- improve the regulatory framework for DHC allowing fulfilment of the EED criteria in 6 countries with in total 23 (155) city administration or local and regional authorities adopting project outcomes. This shall lead to local policies, regulations and permission practices facilitating the implementation of DHC transformation measures.
- foster innovation uptake by means of new products, processes and methods adopted in 11 countries in 43 (78) cases.
- specifically support the DHC sector in Ukraine which is highly affected by the Russian war by one frontrunner case
- Communicate and disseminate activities and results reaching and triggering more than 3 000 stakeholders.
The 11 project partners from 9 countries are:
- WIRTSCHAFT UND INFRASTRUKTUR GMBH & CO PLANUNGS KG (WIP)
- AGFW-PROJEKTGESELLSCHAFT FUR RATIONALISIERUNG, INFORMATION UND STANDARDISIERUNG MBH (AGFW)
- AEE – INSTITUT FUR NACHHALTIGE TECHNOLOGIEN (AEE INTEC)
- ZENTRUM FUR ENERGIEWIRTSCHAFT UND UMWELT (E-THINK)
- POLITECNICO DI MILANO (POLIMI)
- EUROHEAT & POWER (EHP)
- PLANENERGI FOND
- HOGSKOLAN I HALMSTAD (HALMSTAD)
- LITHUANIAN DISTRICT HEATING ASSOCIATION
- MUNICIPAL INSTITUTION CITY INSTITUTE – CITY INSTITUTE
- STOWARZYSZENIE GMIN POLSKA SIEC ENERGIE CITES (PNEC)
Funding: Co-funded by European Union
Disclaimer: SUPPORT DHC is co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.