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District Heating and Cooling

2017-2021 / Annex TS3

The Research / IEA DHC Annexes / 2017-2021 / Annex TS3

Annex TS3: Hybrid Energy Networks

The aim of the IEA DHC Annex TS3 „hybrid energy networks" is to promote opportunities and to overcome challenges for district heating and cooling (DHC) networks in an integrated energy system context, focusing on the coupling to the electricity and the gas grid.

IEA DHC Annex TS3 Logo (Image Source: thenounproject.com (Yazmin Alanis, Symbolon, PenSmasher))

Please also have a look at further publications for:

  • Documentation of the resource exergy analysis (REA)
  • Journal publications related to the IEA DHC Annex TS3
  • Material from various webinars and special session at conferences, including presentations, youtube recordings etc.


Coupling different energy sectors, in particular electricity and gas with heating and cooling, is considered one of the key measures to decarbonise the energy system. District heating and cooling (DHC) networks have traditionally linked the heating and cooling sector to the electricity sector and often also to the gas sector through gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants. However, with the phasing out of natural gas and the increasing share of renewable electricity generation, the role of CHP plants is likely to change significantly in the future. Thus, the use of other heating (and cooling) sources will have to be intensified to meet the demands in DHC networks, and other interconnection points will have to be integrated to provide flexibility between the different sectors. In addition, hydrogen (H2) is playing an increasingly important role in the energy system and the resulting synergies need to be considered.

The IEA DHC Annex TS3 is an international collaboration platform under the supervision of the IEA DHC - the International Energy Agency's technology cooperation programme for district heating and cooling. The aim of the IEA DHC Annex TS3 is to identify key opportunities and make recommendations to address challenges for DHC networks in an integrated energy system context. It ran from autumn 2017 to early 2023 and included several workshops, webinars, and special sessions at various conferences, as well as working meetings and bilateral discussions. A collaboration with the IEA International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) was established to facilitate a better understanding of the integrated energy system.

Contact (the TS3 task manager)

Dr.-Ing. Ralf-Roman Schmidt
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH