Heat Roadmap Europe: Towards EU-Wide, Local Heat Supply Strategies

Bernd Møller, Eva Wiechers, Urban Persson, Lars Grundahl, Rasmus Søgaard Lund, Brian Vad Mathiesen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


The heating sector of Europe is characterised by great diversity, which results in considerable difficulty in formulating common strategies. One of the main hurdles for the formulation of those are asymmetric data availability and standards in this field. As part of the Heat Roadmap Europe project, quantities and locations of heat demands, efficiency potentials, excess heat and renewable energy resources, as well as heat supply strategies are being formulated. The objective of the present paper is to develop a method for the preparation of a quantitative basis for local heat supply strategies. As no detailed spatial data on heat demand and supply exist for all of Europe, such are to be generated by means of a combined top-down and bottom-up modelling approach. First, heat demands are spatially disaggregated using spatial statistics. Second, spatial morphology is used to prepare a zoning of heat supply into individual and collective heating. Then, using linear heat demand density as a main parameter for district heating (DH) network efficiency and investment costs, the economically feasible DH share of prospective areas of collective supply was mapped using average costs for those EU member states, which constitute 90% of the EU heat demand. In the intermediate zone between urban and rural areas, DH may be feasible in the future, in particular if regulatory measures apply. For prospective DH areas, agglomeration of smaller areas to larger clusters were studied. Finally, the temporal and spatial availability of industrial excess heat was appraised. Access to renewable energy sources suitable for DH such as geothermal, large-scale solar thermal, as well as marginal biomass, was analysed. The result is a spatially coherent, comprehensive, and detailed set of heat supply strategies comprising of potential market shares of individual vs. district heating, including the potential sources and supply of DH in a temporally and spatially discrete manner. The findings indicate that among the most heat consuming EU member states, up to 71% of heat demand in urban areas can be met with DH, of which up to 78% can be covered with excess heat, while the remainder to the greatest extent is possible to cover with low enthalpy and marginal renewable energy sources. The conclusion points to the possibility of a largely de-carbonised heat sector as part of a smart energy system for Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication13th sdewes Conference Palermo 2018 proocedings
Number of pages27
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event13th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - Splendid Hotel La Torre, Palermo, Italy
Duration: 30 Sep 20184 Oct 2018


Conference13th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
LocationSplendid Hotel La Torre
Internet address


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