District Heating Working Group
The decarbonisation of district heating is an important challenge for many coal+ regions in Europe, which calls for regional and local solutions. The phase out commitments made by Member States imply a pressing need to find solutions to decarbonise district heating systems (DHS) that rely on coal and other fossil fuels.
To support coal+ regions face this challenge, the Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition set up a Working Group on decarbonisation of fossil fuel-based DHS. The Working Group works as a space to share experiences and identify technical options to transition DHS to non-fossil fuel alternatives among regions and/or municipalities that have already decarbonised their DHS, as well as experts from industry and academia.
The District Heating Working Group has about 15 members, and will operate from April 2023 to March 2024. During that time, four in-person meetings will be organised and facilitated by the Secretariat.
The District Heating Working Group’s primary objectives are:
- to exchange practical knowledge and good practices on district heating solutions that coal+ regions can apply in the context of a more rapid and cost-effective transition towards a carbon-neutral future;
- to identify approaches, solutions and tools which can be used and/or adapted to tackle challenges in decarbonising thermal systems in coal+ regions; and
- to gather thematic priorities and existing knowledge on district heating challenges and solutions and contribute to the development of the district heating toolkit that will include lesson learned to be shared with the broader coal+ community.
Participants in the District Heating Working Group represent the following organisations:
- CEE Bankwatch
- City of Partizánske, Slovakia
- Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, Hungary
- Euroheat & Power, Belgium
- Fraunhofer IEG, Germany
- Friends of the Earth-CEPA, Slovakia
- Municipality of Velenje, Slovenia
- Saxon State Ministry for Regional Development, Germany
- Siemens Energy Global GmbH & Co., Germany
- Sokolovská uhelná, právní nástupce, a.s. (electricty provider), Czechia
- Stara Zagora Regional Economic Development Agency, Bulgaria
- University of Western Macedonia, Greece
- Zklaster (Zgorzelecki Klaster Energii), Poland
Work plan: District Heating Working Group
The Working Group’s four in-person meetings each delve into particular sub-topics, which make use of the expertise held by the various Working Group members to advance decarbonisation of district heating systems.
- Introducing the Working Group and its members
- Developing the Group’s work plan
- Exploring technological options for the decarbonisation of DHS with a SWOT analysis
- Delving into a case study: wind power-to-heat conversion project in the City of Hajnowka, Poland
- Diving into funding and finacing models for decarbonised DHS with presentations from the European Investment Bank
- Exploring guidance and strategy development for financing options
- Learning form a regional case study on combining funding sources
- Discussing and providing feedback on an upcoming District Heating Toolkit produced by the Secretariat of the Initiative for Coal Regions in Transition
- Learning from an external speaker presentation of a fully decarbonised DHS
- Discussing the finalised toolkit
- Exploring excess heat usage, and heating and cooling integration
- Presenting individual plans and strategies to gather feedback from other Working Group members
- Visiting a DHS site on the ground in the host region