Cogeneration of biofuels and heat in the European district heating systems
Conference contribution, 2008
The European Union (EU) aims at an increased use of bioenergy in all sectors as well as an increased energy efficiency. The gasification of biomass with subsequent conversion to gaseous and liquid biofuels generates considerable amounts of surplus heat. Given that some of this heat is made useful in district heating systems, the energy efficiency of such biofuel options would increase. Since the district heating systems in the EU to a large extent is based on fossil fuels, CO2 emissions reduction from the district heating systems could be an additional benefit. The aim of this study is to assess the potential for integrating biofuel plants generating surplus heat with the district heating systems in the member states of the EU. On a national level, the heat sink represented by the district heating systems is large enough to accommodate a substantial biofuel production. However, the realization of this potential is highly dependent on national conditions and its competitiveness against other heat sources in the district heating systems. The attractiveness and possible impacts need to be further analyzed.