The centralised district heating system in Belarus has been built in the former USSR. Approximately 70% of the population is served by district heating and the network capacity is high enough to provide thermal energy to practically all inhabitants of cities and country towns in Belarus. Therefore, the amount of thermal energy supplied for district heating purposes is almost unchanged since the beginning of this century. The total amount of thermal energy supplied for district heating in 2015 in Belarus was equal to 91.8 TJ.
For the already developed district heating system, the country currently aims to reconstruct and modernise the infrastructure as well as district heating networks. Moreover, the main problem of district heating in Belarus lies in the very high share of thermal energy generated by using natural gas imported from Russia. In 2015, natural gas covered a share of 80% of the total fuel use for district heating. The aim is to increase the use of local fuel to reduce the dependency on natural gas.
There is no open district heating market in Belarus, due to the state monopoly for the production and distribution of thermal energy. The utilities of the state-owned industrial company BelEnergo of the Ministry of Energy and the utilities of the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services each supply approximately half of thermal energy to district heating in Belarus. The Ministry of Economics establishes the same tariffs for heating, cold and hot water for all regions, independent of the kind of equipment and fuel used for the generation of thermal energy.
The CHP development in Belarus between 2010 and 2015 had a significant impact on the increase of electricity and thermal energy generation. The realisation of different projects led to the increase of the nominal power of CHP by 800 MW. As a result, the total nominal power of all Belarusian CHPs for general use reached 4,729 MWe or 52.7% of total installed capacity of BelEnergo.