Spatial Heat Planning and Heat Demand Reductions in Buildings

Project Details


A long term goal for Denmark is to develop an energy system solely based on renewable energy sources (RES) in 2050. In Denmark a large share of the heat supply is based upon district heating (DH) which is a resource efficient way to provide heat for areas with a concentrated heat demand, mostly urban areas, given that the primary energy input is renewable. However, there is a limit to this resource effectiveness in areas with low heat density in the building stock. Another aspect of reaching the goal of a 100% RE system is using energy efficiency means to decrease the heat demand and therefore resource demand. A key element in this regard is making the building stock more energy efficient by setting high standards in the building regulations. This has been initialized through EU directives and in Denmark the regulation is already relatively high with schemes categorizing buildings after their energy efficiency. This has led to a situation where new buildings are improved so much that they on an annual basis produce more energy than they consume. These are called net zero energy buildings (NZEB).
In 2009 Aalborg University opened a Strategic Research Centre on Zero Energy Buildings. The centre is granted by the Danish Council for Strategic Research. The overall goal for the centre is to develop new zero energy building concepts with a focus on finding the optimal balances between energy savings and RE production. The research of the centre is divided into three work packages, where this Ph.D. project is a part of “WP 1: Zero Emission Building Concepts”. The work package is divided into six tasks, where this project is a part of the task called “Energy System Modelling and Analysis of 100% RE scenarios”. The aim in this task is to develop one or more 100% RE scenarios and analyse different NZEB concepts in relation to these.
The research in this Ph.D. project is carried out in cooperation with the municipally owned district heating company AffaldVarme Aarhus. The aim of the project is to further develop methods to connect geographical knowledge about buildings and their heat supply with their placement in the overall energy system. The first part of the project focuses on developing these geographical information system (GIS) tools for spatial heat planning. The second part consists of different cases showing the application of the tools. The third part integrates the tools developed with the ZEB-project by analysing the role of NZEB buildings in a future 100% RE system.
Effective start/end date15/09/201015/09/2013


  • nzeb
  • renewable energy systems
  • district heating