20 Feb 2023

Oxford Energy Forum article on Harnessing the decarbonisation potential of District Heating in Europe

District Heating featured in the OIES Energy Forum on decarbonising heat in the European buildings sector

Aksana Krasatsenka (Euroheat & Power), Michael Wiggin (The Boltzmann Institute), and Andrej Jentsch (IEA DHC) contributed with an article in latest issue of Oxford Institute for Energy Studies Energy Forum looking at how to harness the decarbonization potential of district heating in Europe.

Key points:
  • Article notes that district heating represents about 12 per cent of the heating market in Europe and is by far the most common heating solution in the cold-winter countries in northern and eastern Europe
  • But while district heating has been a gateway to deploying more renewable heat in buildings, natural gas still represents almost half of its fuel mix
  • Article discusses the potential for district heating to supply 20 per cent of heat in buildings by 2030 (with 50 per cent of it supplied by renewables and waste heat) and almost half of Europe's heat demand by 2050
  • Authors emphasize that strategies are easier to implement within new networks, but existing networks, 10,000 in total in Europe, also have a large potential to progressively shift to cleaner approaches
  • The main conclusions are that district heating can leverage economies of scale and might reduce the requirements for building and electricity grid retrofits, and in many cases, it can come with significantly lower societal costs than individual solutions

Read full article here