Decarbonisation of district heating and deep retrofits of buildings

Seen as competing or synergetic strategies for the implementation of the efficiency first principle

This paper discusses the compatibility of district heating (DH) networks with deep retrofits of buildings under various European climate conditions and city typologies. The study analyses five cities with different DH market shares, climate zones, population densities, and transferability potentials. 

The results show that even in the scenarios with high refurbishment rates of 3%, high percentage of the built-up areas, between 23% and 68% depending on the city typology, are suitable for DH supply in 2050. An increase of the DH price between 14% and 35%, depending on the scenario and case study can be expected due to the reduced heat densities compared to the current ones. Nevertheless, maximizing the DH connection rates in the identified regions leads to lower total cost of heat in almost all the analysed case studies.

Authors: E. Popovski (IREES), Mario Ragwitz (Fraunhofer IEG), Heike Brugger (Fraunhofer ISI)