District level heating could help achieve EU 2020 energy efficiency goals.

06/11/2015

An article published recently by the European Commission identifies improvement possibilities of sustainability and energy efficiency in the EU using the excess heat that exits in this moment in the EU 27 Members States. This study mapped excess heat and demands for heat to identify the UE suitable regions to the large-scale implementation of district heating; some areas could provide their heat excess to others.

This research forms part of Heat Roadmap Europe – a research project investigating energy efficiency measures in the EU’s heating and cooling sectors –. The researchers considered 1281 regions within the Member States. They measured total excess heat and the total building heat demands.

Geographic information system (GIS) mapping was combined with energy system modelling to determine the regions most suitable for heat synergy collaborations. As result as, excess heat was identified in 834 regions, from which, the countries with the largest volumes of excess heat were Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK. The authors identified 63 ‘heat synergy regions’. These 63 regions represent the 46 % of all excess heat produced in the EU27, despite representing only 10 % of total UE27 land area, and being inhabited by only 28% of the total study population.

The Energy Union Package3 has recognised the need for a more focused approach towards the heating and cooling sector. To this end the European Commission is preparing a Heating and Cooling Strategy to address the challenges and potential of half of the energy currently consumed in Europe. The Strategy is scheduled for adoption at the beginning of 2016.

Source: European Comission, Issue 434, 5 November 2015.

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