Efficient and renewable district heating: How to evaluate development policies?

Policies of utilities, operators and public administrators to develop efficient and renewable district heating: a methodology to quantify their effectiveness by answering a series of key questions.

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To increase resilience against rising energy prices and to provide customers with cleaner thermal energy, policies for the decarbonization of district heating networks through efficiency and renewables (RES DHC, Renewable Energy Sources for District Heating and Cooling) are more and more common.

Such policies could be developed at utility level, thus including all the networks managed by a single company, or at geographical level, of course at different scales, such as a regional project for reducing district heating carbon footprint or a municipal initiative for increasing the share of renewables in all the district heating and cooling networks on the territory.

One of the key questions with these policies, however, is: How to measure their effectiveness? Out of this initial question, then, other may easily pop up: How often should we calculate our indicators? When could we say that we are satisfied with the obtained results? Which further improvements could we expect and should we aim at?

To tackle these issues, the Horizon 2020 RES-DHC project elaborated a simplified methodology for answering, at least partially, all these questions by providing the actors carrying out the RES DHC policies with ideas on what to measure, how often, which targets to set, etc.

Download the full article from Riccardo Battisti, Ambiente Italia – RES-DHC project here




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