This paper identifies the energy system benefits of transitioning district heating infrastructure from current 3rd generation district heating (3GDH) to 4th generation district heating (4GDH) with lower grid temperatures and more integration with other energy sectors. Previous papers have investigated the effect of going from 3GDH to 4GDH on a local perspective. In this paper it is investigated how this transition affects the energy system on a national level, where both the costs and energy effects are evaluated based on national hourly energy systems simulations including all energy sectors in a climate neutral energy system scenario. Moreover, the paper identifies the effects of different cooling solutions in datacentres. The analyses include effects on heat sources as well as the effect on the cost and losses in the district heating grid. This is done for the case of Denmark. In the case of Denmark, it is found that transitioning from 3GDH to 4GDH decreases the system cost by 220 M EUR/year, corresponding to 7 M EUR/TWh delivered heat at the end-user. Increasing the temperature outlet of datacentre waste heat has a value for the system as high as 52–59 M EUR/year, corresponding to 1.7–1.9 M EUR/TWh delivered heating at the end-user.
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- 3rd generation district heating
- 4th generation district heating
- Energy system analysis
- Geographical information system analysis