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District Heating and Cooling

Annex XII Project 04

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 2017-2020 / Annex XII / Annex XII Project 04

Stepwise transition strategy and impact assessment for future district heating systems

Stepwise transition temperature levels, building requirements and DH system benefits


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Project summary

The potential and relevance of district heating and cooling as a technology for addressing the challenge of climate change has recently received more attention on European level. Past Heat Roadmap Europe studies have highlighted and assessed the potential of the technology with the ongoing HRE41 mapping and modelling heating sector and energy systems of 14 largest users of heat in Europe in order to develop policy actions and solutions for efficient uptake of the technology. EU Strategy on Heating and Cooling published in early 2016 pointed out possibilities and potential of district heating. Based on the previously mentioned EU Strategy on Heating, European Commission published the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, where role of district heating and cooling within the European heating sector and energy systems in general is recognised and discussed.

The optimisation of the transition from current district heating systems to 4th generation district heating is a major task for district heating companies. In order to reach a zero carbon future, it will be crucial to learn how to utilise the lowest possible operation temperatures for heating networks and integrate available local heat sources. This project will explore and evaluate the available paths for optimising temperature levels and the use of new, available heat sources. Based on the results, a guideline describes the stepwise transition strategies and objectives that may be preferable for different types of district heating networks depending on their size, efficiency in terms of heat losses and availability of new heat sources.

Deliverables / Outcomes

  • An overall guideline as the final report of the project including Building level actions, Utilisation of new heat sources and evaluation of energy system level impacts

Project lead

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (project lead)
Vuorimiehentie 3
P.O. Box 1000
FI-02044 VTT

Mr. Miika Rämä
+358 40 592 4000

Project partners

  • DTU Danish Technical University - Denmark
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute - Sweden