Is there a role for district heating in future cities with low energy buildings?
Conference contribution, 2008
The district heating sector is challenged in its traditional
way of doing business by buildings increasingly more
energy efficient (with low heat demand for space heating).
This paper reports on work of mapping out such
challenges connected to passive houses in Sweden. It
should be noted that the conditions might be different in
different geographical areas. To gain climate friendliness
in the building sector a system perspective must be used
both regarding energy and environmental issues. The
levels of energy use in buildings in Sweden today and in
the future are discussed together with marginal vs.
average thinking regarding energy and heat production.
From our findings we conclude that it is not necessarily
so that electricity or natural gas should be the option of
choice for hot water demand or peak loads that need to
be externally covered also in energy efficient buildings.
However, it will require active work by district heating
companies to stay competitive. It will be increasingly
important for district heating companies to communicate
with their customers. It will also be important to identify
new customers and new areas where heat can be
utilized; the “district heating villa” in Göteborg, Sweden is an example of investigating new possibilities of heat use.
The study reported in this paper has identified a number
of areas where further research and development is
needed for district heating to improve the future market
position of district heating.