District heating

District Heating drives urban heating transition.

District heating is a safe and reliable form of heating that provides resource efficient, low CO2-emitting solutions. It is often produced in combination with electricity, which reduces environmental impact.

District heating is produced in one or several central production facilities and distributed to various buildings through underground pipes. Industry excess heat from electricity generation, other industries and waste incineration is used in district heating.

Thinking in districts has a strong interconnection to thinking in highly efficient district heating: In urban areas, climate-neutral district concepts rather than single-building approaches would provide an optimal contribution to decarbonisation and sustainability targets.

District heating is a safe and reliable form of heating, with little environmental impact. It is often produced in combination with electricity, which reduces environmental impact.

District heating allows the use of waste heat that is captured in places where a lot of it is created, such as in electricity production and waste incineration.

Traditionally, a district heating consumer may buy district heat only from one supplier. District heating is viewed as a natural monopoly in most countries. Local district heating markets are often state-regulated and district heating companies are not allowed to make a profit. District heating companies in some countries are allowed to earn a profit, although the prices charged must often be approved by a government authority.

Dominant heating method in Nordic countries

The position of district heating on the heating market varies between countries, based on traditional differences and infrastructure design. In parts of northern and eastern Europe, approximately 50 per cent of all households are currently heated by district heating. It is the dominant heating method in all Nordic countries, except Norway, and is prominent in Germany and the Netherlands.

District heating distribution

A variety of energy sources – including biomass, waste and natural gas – can be used as fuel in a district heating plant. Biomass is used in the above illustration as an example.

District heating distribution

District heating distribution

A variety of energy sources – including biomass, waste and natural gas – can be used as fuel in a district heating plant. Biomass is used in the above illustration as an example.

Last updated: 2017-05-17 15:50