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A district heating network

Accelerating strategic heating and cooling planning throughout Europe

This information was last updated on 14/08/23

CSE is a key delivery partner for Act!onHeat, an EU funded project that will accelerate strategic heating and cooling planning in cities and regions throughout Europe in order to dramatically reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

The project will identify the success factors of strong and efficient existing heating and cooling plans and develop a workflow for strategic planning based on existing open-source tools, including CSE’s THERMOS (Thermal Energy Resource Modelling and Optimisation System).

THERMOS simplifies planning for a futureproof energy system; helping urban areas or building clusters reach net zero emissions and tackle climate change through heat decarbonisation. Using state-of-the-art modelling techniques, THERMOS will identify place-based, user-specific optimal heat network solutions for any given area within minutes.  It makes heat network planning faster, more transparent, more efficient and more cost effective.

Strategic heating and cooling developments need support

Strategic heating and cooling developments are large, complex and expensive undertakings and few councils or municipalities possess the necessary resources or experience to begin the process with confidence. Act!onHeat will offer this, with the help of specific tools such as Hotmaps and THERMOS.

Project manager, CSE’s Martin Holley said: “Transforming how we produce and use energy so we produce less carbon requires action at a massive scale. It needs to come from government policy, industry practice, and local authority and community action. Low carbon district heating systems have a critical role to play, and Act!onHeat will enable more local areas to get involved.”

Act!onHeat  support facility

Support offered by the project is based around the European-wide Act!onHeat Support Facility which provides free advice and analysis on planning, pre-feasibility and finance for energy planners to establish or improve heating and cooling infrastructure. Applications are open to anyone working on behalf of local authorities in energy planning, from local council energy teams to individual consultants.

Since its launch in March 2022, the Support Facility has been actively guiding energy planners from municipalities across Europe. Examples of support services include: the development of guidelines in tendering services for heating or cooling planning; targeted support on dealing with data, e.g. how to set up a cadastre for industrial excess heat; and the planning and early stage design of heat networks.

CSE’s main role is in offering support on pre-feasibility analysis of district heating opportunities, including heat demand mapping, heat supply specification and heat network optimisation using THERMOS. This can involve both the planning of new networks and the extension of existing ones with or without additional heat supply sources.

Through Act!onHeat, CSE has supported local authorities in this way across a range of countries including Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Austria.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is a partner in Act!onHeat, along with Fraunhofer Institute, eclareon GmbH, TU Wien, Creara, e-think and ICLEI Europe.

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