Workshops on 5GDHC Market transformation potential
D2Grids is an Interreg North West Europe (NWE) project lasting over 5 years (2018-2023) which aims at increasing the share of renewable energies used for heating & cooling to 20% in NWE 10 years after the project ends, through accelerating the rolling out of a proven but underutilised concept: 5th Generation District Heating and Cooling (5GDHC). 5GDHC is a highly optimised, demand-driven, self-regulating, energy management system for urban areas.
Socio-economic results of 5th generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC) will be assessed in the D2Grids project through the evaluation of its market transformation potential. To this purpose, D2Grids puts in place a comprehensive evaluation strategy based on a series of indicators developed by our partners in 2021.
D2Grids partners have joined forces and shared their knowledge and expertise in order to develop a comprehensive methodology. In a total of four workshops throughout the months of October to December 2021, our partners VITO/Energyville, Greenflex, Mijnwater, BRGM, Asper and Stroomversnelling , led by Open Universiteit, took on the challenge to form a complete set of indicators that will provide the necessary tools to assess the potential demand for 5GDHC in North-West Europe.
Kick-start: Objectives, Brainstorming and Definition
On the 11th October, Open Universiteit kicked-off this work with a first online workshop. Here, all the partners were invited to define the ultimate goal of the assessment to be developed, followed by a two-hour brainstorming session where the preliminary indicators were selected, divided in three main categories: “economic”, “technological” and “contextual”. The idea is that these indicators will become the core of the methodology to be followed to assess the market transformation potential of 5GDHC.
What is “Market Transformation Potential”?
The potential of 5GDHC technology to transform the market of heating and cooling in North West Europe, as defined in the project, was narrowed down for assessment to “assessing the potential demand for 5GDHC in the heating and cooling market”
The following workshops, were spread among the following months, with the final workshop taking place on the 1st of December. Each of these workshops took focus on each of the 3 categories defined in the first brainstorming session. For each of these categories, the wide number of preliminary indicators resulting from the brainstorming session were narrowed down, and the methods to assess each of them was defined (inputs, data collection methods, outputs, etc.)
The workshop sessions brought many interesting discussion and outcomes thanks to the diversity of our project partners and their extensive expertise. Topics covered ranged from assessing the added value and comfort of 5GDHC to the end consumer, to measuring the financial returns to network owners, passing through the evaluation of the likelihood to exchange existing networks to 5GDHC. These and other indicators were carefully chosen and defined, and will soon be used to carry the evaluation of the market transformation potential.
After the four workshops, enough inputs were gathered to proceed with the next step: putting in place a concrete and detailed methodology to evaluate the market transformation potential of 5DGHC technology in North-West Europe. This will result in a project report that will be publicly available soon. Ideally, this methodology is not only suitable for one-time use in our project, but also as a way to calculate and identify the potential demand for 5GDHC in a given region. This will facilitate further implementation of the technology and allow new regions in Europe to adopt 5GDHC as the best solution for sustainable heating and cooling.