Heat Roadmap Europe: Inputs for Technical Modelling and Policy Recommendations

Publication: Research - peer-reviewReport

Abstract

This document is a summary of the key technical inputs for the modelling of the heat strategy for Europe outlined in the latest Heat Roadmap Europe studies [1, 2]. These studies quantify the impact of alternative heating strategies for Europe in 2030 and 2050. The study is based on geographical information systems (GIS) and energy system analyses. In this report, the inputs for other modelling tools such as PRIMES are presented, in order to enable other researches to generate similar heating scenarios for Europe. Although Heat Roadmap Europe presents a complete heat strategy for Europe, which includes energy efficiency, individual heating units (such as boilers and heat pumps), and heat networks, the recommendations here are primarily relating to the potential and modelling of district heating. Although other solutions will play a significant role in decarbonising the heating and cooling sector, especially heat savings and heat pumps, these are not the focus in this document since many tools and organisations already have the ability to analyse these solutions. In contrast, there is currently a considerable shortage of basic knowledge about the modelling, implementation, and role of district heating in a low-carbon energy system context, so we have focused on this area based on our extensive experience in this area [1-10]. This report includes guidelines on the potential heat demand in European buildings that can be met by district heating as well as some general guidelines on how this district heating demand can be supplied. Typical capacities are recommended for boilers, combined heat and power (CHP) plants, centralised heat pumps, and thermal storage facilities. In addition, the potential heat available from surplus heat and renewable heat sources is outlined. These inputs can be used to model increased penetrations of district heating in the EU energy system in other energy planning tools, such as the PRIMES and JRC-EU-TIMES tools.
The key results from the Heat Roadmap Europe studies are that:
 Heat savings have a key role to play, but there is a socio-economic limit: after reducing the total heat demand by approximately 30-50%, it will be cheaper to supply heat from a sustainable resource instead of continuing with further savings, which can also enable a higher penetration of renewable energy due to cost shifted from savings and due to the availability of low cost waste heat sources.
 District heating should be implemented in the urban areas of Europe where the heat density is high enough.
 Heat pumps should be the primary individual heating solution in rural areas, but they will be supplemented by biomass boilers and solar thermal units in suitable locations. The scale and locations of these individual heating solutions has yet to be determined.
By implementing these measures, the Heat Roadmap Europe studies have indicated that it is possible to reduce the overall socio-economic costs of the EU energy system while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing the utilisation of renewable energy. To supplement these technical recommendations, this document also gives a flavour of the key policies which can be used to stimulate the growth of district heating in Europe. The key conclusion from these recommendations is that the European Union has a key role to play in the legislation of district heating, even though the implementation is required at a Member State (MS) level.
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This document is a summary of the key technical inputs for the modelling of the heat strategy for Europe outlined in the latest Heat Roadmap Europe studies [1, 2]. These studies quantify the impact of alternative heating strategies for Europe in 2030 and 2050. The study is based on geographical information systems (GIS) and energy system analyses. In this report, the inputs for other modelling tools such as PRIMES are presented, in order to enable other researches to generate similar heating scenarios for Europe. Although Heat Roadmap Europe presents a complete heat strategy for Europe, which includes energy efficiency, individual heating units (such as boilers and heat pumps), and heat networks, the recommendations here are primarily relating to the potential and modelling of district heating. Although other solutions will play a significant role in decarbonising the heating and cooling sector, especially heat savings and heat pumps, these are not the focus in this document since many tools and organisations already have the ability to analyse these solutions. In contrast, there is currently a considerable shortage of basic knowledge about the modelling, implementation, and role of district heating in a low-carbon energy system context, so we have focused on this area based on our extensive experience in this area [1-10]. This report includes guidelines on the potential heat demand in European buildings that can be met by district heating as well as some general guidelines on how this district heating demand can be supplied. Typical capacities are recommended for boilers, combined heat and power (CHP) plants, centralised heat pumps, and thermal storage facilities. In addition, the potential heat available from surplus heat and renewable heat sources is outlined. These inputs can be used to model increased penetrations of district heating in the EU energy system in other energy planning tools, such as the PRIMES and JRC-EU-TIMES tools.
The key results from the Heat Roadmap Europe studies are that:
 Heat savings have a key role to play, but there is a socio-economic limit: after reducing the total heat demand by approximately 30-50%, it will be cheaper to supply heat from a sustainable resource instead of continuing with further savings, which can also enable a higher penetration of renewable energy due to cost shifted from savings and due to the availability of low cost waste heat sources.
 District heating should be implemented in the urban areas of Europe where the heat density is high enough.
 Heat pumps should be the primary individual heating solution in rural areas, but they will be supplemented by biomass boilers and solar thermal units in suitable locations. The scale and locations of these individual heating solutions has yet to be determined.
By implementing these measures, the Heat Roadmap Europe studies have indicated that it is possible to reduce the overall socio-economic costs of the EU energy system while simultaneously reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing the utilisation of renewable energy. To supplement these technical recommendations, this document also gives a flavour of the key policies which can be used to stimulate the growth of district heating in Europe. The key conclusion from these recommendations is that the European Union has a key role to play in the legislation of district heating, even though the implementation is required at a Member State (MS) level.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
StatePublished - Jul 2015

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