Large-scale decentralized energy schemes incorporating District Heating (DH) networks offer an affordable way of achieving low carbon energy supply in densely populated areas, meeting domestic, commercial and some industrial space heating and domestic hot water requirements.
The use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) with DH results in the highly efficient use of fuel, up to 80-90% efficiency, with primary energy savings of 30-45% compared with the conventional separate generation to achieve the same quantity of heat and power. Due to the efficiency of CHP, emissions to the environment are approximately 30% less than in separate generation of electricity and heat. Another major benefit of DH systems is that they can use a wide variety of local energy sources, including those that are impossible or difficult (less efficiently and cost-effectively) to handle in individual applications.
In particular, DH can integrate combustible renewables that are difficult to manage in small boilers, which is the case with most combustible renewables such as wood waste, straw and olive residues as well as the biogenic fractions of municipal waste and sewage sludge. The majority of renewables including bio fuels, biogas, geothermal, solar and wind energy can be more effectively utilized when integrated into DH networks.
Heat is distributed in the form of hot water from the heat source(s) by means of district heating pipework to the consumers. These are reliable, long life assets that can deliver heat regardless of the source.
Indeed the heat source may change over time as the energy market and technologies change to favour new generation technologies or other more economic heat sources. DH reduces local pollutants as particle emissions, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by relocating exhausts from individual boilers to centralized chimneys. Due to economies of scale, far more effective pollution prevention and control measures can be implemented in central production facilities.
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Below is a list of actions implemented in the partner´s territories.