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District Heating and Cooling


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

The future of CHP?

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants are traditionally linking the heating&cooling sector to the electricity and often also to the gas sector. However, the role of CHP plants will significantly change due to an

  • increasing competition for renewable fuels with transport and industrial sector as well as a
  • increasing electricity production from wind and PV

Consequently, other heat (and cold) sources will be needed for covering the heat (and cold) demand in DHC networks in the future­, including power-to-heat (PtH) plants such as large-scale heat pumps (HPs) and electric boilers (eBs). Also, the waste heat from power-to-gas, (PtG) plants can play a major role.

On the other hand, the couping of the different sectors enables one to improve the system flexibility and thus manage and mitigate temporal imbalances of intermittent electricity production from PV and wind and demand as well as counteract limitations of the electricity network transfer capacity

An international cooperation

In 2018, an international cooperation with the IEA ISGAN Annex 6 “Power Transmission and Distribution Systems” was established in order to facilitate a better understanding of integrated energy systems.

  • The IEA International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) supports the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world.
  • IEA ISGAN Annex 6 “Power Transmission and Distribution Systems” focuses on the potential system-related challenges in the development of future smarter grids, including technologies, market aspects, and policies, more information at https://www.iea-isgan.org/our-work/annex-6/


Annex Text (Status 2019)