Abstract: Development of an open heating platform: The case of Hamburg

Kirsten Sophie Hasberg, Matthias Sandrock

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/konference proceedingKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingForskningpeer review

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The district heating grid of Hamburg is the second largest in Germany, following Berlin. 1200 km heating network supplies appr. 500.000 consumers (equally divided between private households and commercial customers).
Today, the district heating network of Hamburg consists of 25-30 different grids, of which the largest one, covering appr. 80 % of consumption, is owned and operated by Vattenfall. District heating covers only 20 percent of the overall heat supply, but induces 30 % of the CO2 emissions of the heating sector. The primary form of heat supply in Hamburg is individual heating based on natural gas.

In contrast to the German electricity supply, there is almost no renewable energy in the heating sector.
Because heat production is coal-based, the CO2 emissions from district heating in Hamburg are higher than those of individual gas-based heating.

There is a large public and political resistance towards coal based district heating, and therefore a push towards increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the heating sector, and the need of developing an ”open heating platform” is part of the discourse.

As a result of a referendum held in 2013, the district heating system will be ’re-municipalized’ in 2019 and hence be sold from Vattenfall and EON to the City of Hamburg (FHH, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg). After the referendum, Hamburg does virtually not have any heat planning, since until now, this was the responsibility of the private actors.

With an open heating platform, there is potential for integrating new heat suppliers, e.g.:
- Heat from the river Elbe via large heat pumps
- Wastewater heat via large heat pumps
- Integration of wind energy from Schleswig-Holstein (Power2Heat): According to the Think Tank ’Agora Energiewende’, the potential for wind used in the heating sector is 2,3 TWh/year by 2023, due to low electricity prices. Today, taxes and duties prevent such a use of wind in the heating sector.

Falling electricity prices constitute a risk element for district heating based on co-production of electricity and heat, especially after the coal powered power plant Moorburg started operating in February 2015. This reinforces the price dampening effect on electricity prices from increased wind production in northern Germany. Basing district heating on heat souces not based on co-production with electricity therefore becomes increasingly important.
TitelBook of abstracts: International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating Aalborg University, Copenhagen Campus on 25-26 August 2015
RedaktørerHenrik Lund, Brian Vad Mathiesen
Antal sider87
Publikationsdato25 aug. 2015
StatusUdgivet - 25 aug. 2015
BegivenhedInternational Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating - Aalborg University Copenhagen A.C.Meyers Vænge 15 2450 Copenhagen SV, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 25 aug. 201526 aug. 2015


KonferenceInternational Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating
LokationAalborg University Copenhagen A.C.Meyers Vænge 15 2450 Copenhagen SV


  • district heating
  • heating platform
  • Germany


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