The EU-funded project KeepWarm aims to accelerate cost-effective investments in the modernisation of district heating systems (DHS), particularly in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) where DHSs are often still inefficient and remain overly reliant on fossil fuels. KeepWarm therefore promotes sustainable pathways to retrofit existing DHS by upgrading their operational efficiency and switching to local greener energy sources.
There is a distinct need to retrofit renewable energy (RE) technologies into DHSs across Europe, as a means of accelerating decarbonisation, not to mention added-value in terms of public health, economic innovation, etc. The technologies and infrastructure necessary to harvest RE (as well as sustainable excess heat) sources are not only already technologically mature, but also financially attractive. Most DHSs would find themselves able to start RE deployment today, whether increasing the RE-share to reduce their coal/oil/gas needs or with an even more ambitious full phase-out of fossil fuels.
Our second international e-seminar emphasises especially the great potential from exploiting solar thermal and biomass resources (as well as other RE like heat pumps) by forward-thinking DHSs. It will particularly focus on relevant examples from four KeepWarm target countries: Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and Serbia. Even though the common thread in all four cases will be about DHS RE-retrofits, the contexts to be presented still offer sufficient variety for distinct perspectives, and with insights applicable to other countries and RE sources.
Additional to these four country cases, KeepWarm will also formally launch its newest public materials, especially its RE-DH guidance booklet meant to inspire strategic decision-making and further replication/investments for integrating/switching to RE-DH.