Report on the amounts of urban waste heat accessible in the EU28

Urban Persson*, Saeid Atabaki, Steffen Nielsen, Diana Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

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This report presents the updated and final results from the work performed in Task 1.2 of the ReUseHeat project to assess the accessible EU28 urban waste heat recovery potential from seven unconventional waste heat sources: data centres, metro stations, food production facilities, food retail stores, residential sector buildings, service sector buildings, and waste water treatment plants. The report focusses on recent data and model updates for the EU28 in total (EU27 plus the United Kingdom), as well as for the project demonstration sites, while less focus is directed towards the original methods and approaches developed for these models; all of which have been described in previous accounts. In terms of data updates, monitoring data from demonstration site operations and public responses to our online project questionnaire on real-world urban waste heat recovery initiatives, are presented and evaluated in overview summary. Regarding model updates, the assessments of urban waste heat potentials from data centres and metro stations have been refreshed by use of new underlying input data, by the configuration of existing and the addition of new model parameters, as well as by reference to later year energy statistics. For the modelling of the total EU28 potential, utilising a dataset for the geographical representation of current urban district heating areas more detailed than the previous one, renders by spatial analytics, under the same “inside or within 2 kilometres of urban district heating areas” default setting as used before, an updated and more accurate assessment of the distances and the vicinity by which low-grade urban waste heat sources are located relative current demand locations. We maintain in this report also our application of the two concepts “available” waste heat and “accessible” waste heat, which, in combination with spatial constraints, are used to distinguish between resource potentials and utilisation potentials. For the total count of activities elaborated in this update (70,862 unique point-source activities compared to the original 70,771), the total available waste heat potential is assessed at some 1849 petajoule per year (~514 terawatt-hours), compared to the original 1842 petajoule per year. At the default spatial constraint setting, the final available waste heat potential is estimated at ~800 petajoule per year (~222 terawatt-hours) from a thus reduced subset of 22,756 unique point-source locations (960 petajoule per year from 27,703 unique facilities in the original), which here corresponds to a final accessible EU28 waste heat utilisation potential anticipated at 1173 petajoule (~326 terawatt-hours) annually (previous assessment at 1410 petajoule annually). For improved dissemination and exploitation of project results, a new web map; the European Waste Heat Map, has been developed and made available at the ReUseHeat project web page where point source data from this work may be viewed and shared.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


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