01 Jul 2012

SDHplus: New Business Opportunities for Solar District Heating and Cooling

SDHplus built upon the success of SDHtake-off, creating new business models and marketing strategies to grow the solar district heating (SDH) sector.

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July 2012 to June 2015.


Target Countries:

Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.


Description / Objectives:

Solar district heating (SDH) plants are a large-scale solar thermal technology supplying renewable, zero-emission heat from large collector fields via district heating networks to residential and industrial areas. There is increasing interest in SDH, mainly from utilities but also from local authorities and the housing sector. SDH has a large potential in Europe, which experts estimate at 5% of district heat from solar and an annual solar heat production of 100 PJ.

The SHDplus is a follow-up project from SDHtake-off, which united solar thermal and district heating stakeholders, analysing market conditions and producing recommendations for the deployment of SDH across Europe. Building upon the successful outcomes of SDHtake-off, the aim of the SDHplus project was to support uptake of solar thermal in district heating through:

  • Developing and pilot implementing new business models for SDH, focussing on renewable district heating for buildings with high energy performance.
  • Supporting the use of solar thermal in cases where CHP district heat is not used for base load, as wind energy and photovoltaics in the electricity grid are of higher merit order.
  • Encouraging the integration of solar thermal into isolated heat networks without CHP, and the substitution of heat-only plants.
  • Promoting the use of SDH as a modern and environmentally-friendly solution, resulting in high societal acceptance of solar energy within district heating.


Results / Final Reports:

The SDHplus project incorporated more district heating stakeholders, in more countries, than the SDHtake-off project and resulted in the following outcomes:

The case study examples demonstrate the potential success of SDH within the district heating sector and knowledge was shared from the 39 case studies through a number of international high-level dissemination activities, such as work shops and coaching sessions.


Project Partners:

S.O.L.I.D. Gesellschaft für Solarinstallation und Design (AT); Euroheat & Power (BE); Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar (HR); CITYPLAN spol. s.r.o.(CZ); Danish District Heating Association (DK); PlanEnergi (DK); AMORCE – Association of public project owners (FR); Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (FR); Tecsol SA (FR); AGFW – German Heat & Power Association (DE); Ambiente Italia s.r.l. (IT); AIRU – Italian District Heating Association (IT); Lithuanian Energy Institute (LT); EC BREC – Instytut Energetyki Odnawialnej Sp. z.o.o. (PL); University of Ljubljana (SI); Tecnalia (ES); CIT Energy Management AB (SE).







IEE Programme.