01 Jul 2009

SDHtake-off: Solar District Heating in Europe

SDHtake-off analysed the market conditions and barriers for solar district heating (SDH) across Europe and produced policy recommendations.



July 2009 to June 2012.


Target Countries:

Germany, Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy.


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 SHDtake-off project aimed to analyse the market conditions and barriers for SDH, in order to prepare policy recommendations and draft support schemes for decisions makers. A key objective was to bring together key stakeholders including, district heating experts and industry, to elaborate industry standards and guidelines for SDH. This information, necessary for the commercial expansion of this sector, was to be disseminated around eighteen European countries.


Results / Final Reports:

The SHDtake-off project produced the following two key results:

  • SDHtake-off produced a set of industry standards and guidelines on the subject of SDH, which are recognised by the European market actors within district heating and solar thermal collection. The guidelines include technical studies and factsheets.
  • SDHtake-off collected reliable knowledge about the market conditions and barriers for SDH, which was translated into recommendations for regulations, support schemes and policy. These recommendations were communicated to decision markers across Europe and also through targeted dissemination activities reaching market actors in 18 EU countries.

The recommendations from SDHtake-off were compiled in the “Market and Policy Assessment”:

  1. SDH Success Factors – identifies success and lessons learned.
  2. SDH Boundary Conditions and Market Obstacles – national boundaries.
  3. SDH Market – in-depth study on the potential market for SHD.


Project Partners:

Euroheat & Power (BE); Solites (DE); AGFW (DE); Energie Graz (AT); S.O.L.I.D. Company for Installation of Solar and Design (AT); Marstal District Heating (DK); PlanEnergi – (DK); AIRU-Italian District Heating Association (IT); Ambiente Italia (IT); Association for District Heating of the Czech Republic (CZ); CityPlan (CZ); CIT Energy Management (SE).






IEE Programme.