News & Events
The information brochure "District heating and cooling - a modern solution for traditional challenges" is part of the Image Raising Campaign “Become a #DHCitizen!” of the European umbrella organization Euroheat&Power and is addressed to citizens of the entire EU.
An important part of a successful heat transition is district heating systems with a growing share of heat generation from renewable energies (RE). How can the savings potential of 39 million tons of CO2 per year identified in studies be achieved and what are possible generation alternatives to get as close as possible to the 73% RE in district heating by 2050? This question is currently being addressed by numerous district heating utilities at various levels. With the event "Transformation of District Heating Generation - Goals and the Reality" we would like to present some generation alternatives, components and concepts.
We invite you to join the final Upgrade DH Conference "Towards efficient district heating and cooling in Europe" on 15 September 2021, online!
Lithuania is a country undergoing an energy transition at record speed, with ambitions now to move beyond biomass. So, while some EU governments are still debating whether they need new pipelines, or can turn off the natural gas tap, Lithuania has been transforming its heat supply: Firstly using domestic biomass to exit the era of energy dependence on Russia; now upgrading its networks and eyeing new possibilities in the form of solar and heat pumps.
The virtual tour and the presentation of the solar thermal energy supply of “Energie und Wasser Potsdam” was a highlight of the AGFW event "Solnet 4.0 - Online Workshop Solar Heat Networks - Market Status Today and Approaches for Sustainable Development Tomorrow (Solare Wärmenetze – Marktstand heute und Ansätze für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung morgen)" on 23.09.2020.
In this video Mr. René Elgert (construction manager of the solar thermal power plant from Energie und Wasser Potsdam GmbH) gives detailed insights into the technical concept, the implementation and then operation of the collector field, the integration into the district heating network and the technical center (heat station).
In the joint research project, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), AGFW, Solites, the Hamburg Institute and the publishers of the trade journal “Energiekommune” had set themselves the goal of providing practical information about the technology and user concepts of solar thermal energy, visiting systems and clarifying open questions. Further information can be found at https://www.agfw.de/solarthermie/.
Solar thermal energy in district heating
Heating networks with renewable energies offer promising opportunities to make progress in the local heat transition. Increasingly, large-scale ground-mounted solar thermal systems are being integrated in this process. Today, these systems are implemented by heating suppliers primarily for business reasons and as a measure of local climate protection. The current double-digit growth is mainly taking place in two areas: existing urban district heating networks in metropolitan areas and smaller, mostly new heating networks in rural areas. There are also promising market prospects for the housing industry.
Video © AGFW
Located in the northwest part of Germany’s capital city Berlin, Vattenfall operates the combined heat and power plant Reuter West. Commissioning in 1987 and 1989 the two identical heat and power plant units generate electricity (installed capacity of 564 MWel) and heat (installed capacity of 878 MWth) simultaneously according to the principle of cogeneration. Despite the age of the CHP of 30-years, the fuel utilization efficiency amounts to 80% due to ongoing efficiency and optimisation measures.
Equipped with efficient flue gas cleaning systems the generation units still represent a highly efficient hard coal plant. To reach the climate goals and supporting the heat transition Germany decided to have a coal phase out during the next years. As a result, the heat and power generation needs to find some alternatives and Vattenfall Berlin has already been driving this process for several years.
In September 2019 for example, Vattenfall connected Europe‘s largest power-to-heat plant (120 MWth) to the district heating network at the Reuter West power plant area in Berlin. As the general optimisation and upgrade process and the transformation to higher shares of renewable energies are also targets of European (H2020) research activities the virtual study tour is embedded in an online webinar from Upgrade DH and RES-DHC.
Sign up to participate at the high-level webinar with examples and ideas from all over Europe and join the virtual study tour. In addition to visiting some areas that are not accessible otherwise and insights of ongoing innovative activities for the real heat transition, you will afterwards have the opportunity to find your own way through a virtual model of Reuter West.
The Upgrade DH project supports the upgrading and retrofitting of district heating (DH) systems in different climate regions of Europe, covering various countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and The Netherlands. These countries are quite diverse in terms of the DH share in the total residential heating demand (ranging from 2.3% in Italy to 64.8% in Denmark) and primary energy sources used to produce heat (from mostly coal in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland to mostly renewable energy sources in Lithuania and Denmark). While it is widely acknowledged that district heating and cooling (DHC) systems should have a significant role in the future decarbonised energy system, clear action plans for the development or retrofitting of DHC networks are non-existent in the vast majority of European countries:
Another UpgradeDH city undergoing a transformation of the district heating system, joined Euroheat & Power’s campaign “We are all connected”. This campaign is showcasing cities’ leadership in the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector with DHC solutions.
The story of district heating belongs to the cities we live in! On this interactive map, cities across Europe are telling about their plans to use district heating (and sometimes even cooling) to help realise their decarbonisation objectives.
The city of Tuzla is a city in Bosnia and Herzegovina that surely is a leader when it comes to district heating. In the last ten years, they invested a lot, of both, time and money in reconstructing heating substations, all in order to optimize the system and reduce the consumption of thermal energy, as well as to increase energy efficiency of more than 1200 substations. Find out more about their long-term plans here: https://dhcities.eu/?location=Tuzla
In order to decarbonise the energy system in the shortest possible time, it is essential to implement practicable and available solutions now. To decarbonise the heating sector, specifically, it is key for this transition to be systematically defined, so that all those relevant stakeholders at the EU, national and local level, are involved in a harmonised way.
The main objective of the EU projects UpgradeDH and KeepWarm is to support further uptake of district heating in Europe, in particular by making recommendations to national governments and local authorities on how to approach DHS retrofitting. On one hand, Upgrade DH is developing concrete national action plans for the retrofitting of inefficient networks in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and the Netherlands. On the other hand, the action plans developed in the framework of the KeepWarm project focus on Central and Eastern Europe, and in particular Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Latvia, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
During this webinar we will explore how to develop successful action plans to retrofit DH networks in Europe, learning from concrete case studies from the two abovementioned projects, such as Germany and Slovenia. Our speakers will analyse expected legislative challenges and recommended solutions to successfully overcome them.
As the general trend in the energy sector and the supporting policies aim towards 100% renewable energies for 2050, upgrading heat generation with renewable energy sources and including innovative heat storage technologies will be key.
The goal is clear but how to get there is uncertain and will vary from city to city. To get some inspiration and exchange on possible ways forward, the Celsius Initiative has teamed-up with RES-DHC and UpgradeDH, two european projects at the forefront of modernizing district heating systems by integrating renewable energy sources, among other.
You are kindly invited to join us Tuesday January 26 at 09:30 CET for the Celsius Talk on "Retrofitting with renewable energies - finding the right mix". During this free webinar RES-DHC will focus on the integration of solar thermal and other RES based sources, whereas UpgradeDH will look at how to harmonise these with existing production assets and the challenges of sector coupling. For a concrete example, the city of Graz will tell their story of switching to renewable district heating.
Join the discussion with:
We look forward to connecting with you!
Keeping our cities sustainably warm - Inspiring the Efficient Renewal of District Heating for the Just Transition.
KeepWarm‘s online International Inspire Event aims to explore the role which district heating (DH) has, especially for DH retrofits (i.e. increasing DH networks’ efficiency and/or decarbonisation through more sustainable energy sources), in relevant strategies at multiple levels of governance. It features high-level speakers representing local to European institutions to discuss DH’s crucial role in contributing to a Just Transition, Green Recovery and climate/energy goals. The ultimate purpose of this e-event is to foster interactive dialogue which helps to scale up implementation through the strategic acceleration of policy and financial frameworks which suitably support DH retrofits.
It is time to promote the people involved in DHC and the faces behind! We are launching a photo contest:
- To participate, please submit a photo of an employee on-site, who is proud of doing his/her job.
- Accompany this photo with a few words about the person: name, organisation, occupation, etc.
- We will share this on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) with the hashtag #DHCitizen.
- By end of February 2021, we will count the likes for each post.
- The person, who gets the most likes, will be featured in an article on the Euroheat & Power website and will receive an online ticket for our next Congress “Forward Together.”
The Upgrade DH project partners in Italy are organising a digital event on 02.10.2020 about the future of district heating in Italy. The event will be the opportunity to openly present, in an international context and in the presence of representatives of Institutions, the study on the development potential of District Heating in Italy carried out jointly by Polytechnic of Milan and of Turin, and to receive updates on the European project UpGrade DH developments. During round tables, the concrete opportunities that district heating offers to a Sustainable development and economic recovery of the Country will be brought to light.
UpgradeDH is launching an image raising campaign to promote modern district heating networks. The campaign aims to improve the perception of district heating at local level, thus establishing district heating as a viable solution for the energy transition, in the minds of citizens. The webpage www.dhcitizen.eu provides information on DHC, as well as its role in decarbonising our cities. In addition, it highlights examples of decarbonisation success stories thought an integrated #DHCities map.
Munich, 03.07.2019. District Heating (DH) systems present a high potential for the transition of the heat sector, both technically and organizationally. They allow the integration of renewable energies, they serve to improve the overall energy efficiency and they facilitate sector coupling (coupling between heating, electricity and mobility). However, many DH systems need to be continuously upgraded so that they are efficient and have zero (or close to zero) emissions and thus, contribute to mitigate climate change.
DH systems are very individual with their own characteristics and upgrading processes can be very complex, time-consuming, and implying high investments. Hence, more than one year was needed to put all the knowledge of the Upgrade DH consortium partners on paper and to elaborate a handbook with the title “Upgrading the performance of district heating networks - Technical and non-technical approaches; A Handbook”.
Experiences from different European countries were used to describe the technical and non-technical approaches in DH upgrading processes. The handbook is available in English and 6 other languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Italian, Lithuanian, and Polish. In several countries, there is a lack of such information in national language and thus, the handbook presents a great opportunity to easily get into the topic of upgrading DH systems. The aim is to inform stakeholders such as decision makers, politicians, utilities, operators, end consumers, or potential developers of DH systems, about upgrading opportunities. Thereby, the ambition of the handbook is not to provide a detailed technical guideline for technicians, but rather to give an overview on upgrading options.
The second Upgrade DH webinar will be organised on 4th June 2020 at 14:00 CET on Upgrading heat distribution and piping technologies.
An essential part of the DH systems is the heat distribution network, which connects the heat generators with the heat sinks. The objective is to guarantee a reliable heat supply which is adjusted to the grid needs and which is as efficient as possible.
Join this webinar to find out more about this topic! REGISTER HERE
The presentations and the recording are available HERE
The series of the public UpgradeDH webinars kicks-off on Thursday, 30 April in the framework of the DHC+ Talks. The first webinar will focus on the non-technical aspects of upgrading projects. The presenters from WIP Renewable Energies, AGFW, JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d. Sarajevo and University of Zagreb will share their expertise in strategies, contracts, stakeholder engagement, business models, and much more. Please register for the webinar on Apr 30, 2020 2:00 PM CEST here. The topics and the timing of the future UpgradeDH webinars will be published in due course.
Presentations of the webinar on 30 April 2020 are available here.
Recording of the webinar on 30 April is available here.
Horizon 2020 projects UgradeDH and KeepWarm have made upgrading of inefficient district heating system easier. New handbooks and training courses have been produced that will help operators of existing district heating systems understand the opportunities of improved energy efficiency and a transition to a sustainable energy system.
The KeepWarm project has trained over 500 district heating operators in Austria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Ukraine. The training courses were tailor-made for each country following an assessment of needs across 29 district heating operators. KeepWarm maintains a Learning Centre which offers free material on business models and funding, thermal planning tools, policy recommendations and case studies of best practice in district heating. The project is now supporting the operators to develop business plans for upgrades to their own district heating systems.
The UpgradeDH project has published a handbook that outlines opportunities for the energy efficient upgrading of district heating systmes. The handbook is aimed at decision makers, utilities and system operators, and is available in English, Danish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Croatian and Bosnian.
Heating and hot water account for 79% of EU households’ final energy use, therefore action to upgrade old and inefficient district heating systems will make a significant contribution to Europe’s climate and energy goals.
Published on 30/09/2019
The second Progress Meeting of the Upgrade DH project will take place on 9-11 April in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The first Progress Meeting of the Upgrade DH project took place on 10-12 October 2018 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Under the coordination of WIP, the consortium discussed about the first oucomes of the project and agreed on further steps.
3-4 May 2018: The Kick-off-meeting of the Upgrade DH project took place on 3-4 May 2018 in Munich, Germany. Under the coordination of WIP, the consortium planned the work programme for the upcoming three project years and focused on the work of the upcoming 6 months. The Kick-off-meeting is an internal meeting for the consortium only.