District energy systems are commonplace in urban centers and district heating is the most common form of heating for urban homes and businesses in many of EBRD’s countries of operations. Compared to other utility sectors, the seasonal timing of the COVID-19 pandemic means the immediate risk surrounding increased demand for services is minimal. However, the outbreak and the drastic measures taken in response to raise issues that sector operators and policymakers should be aware of which are outlined below:


With the vast majority of the population now required to stay at home, an increase in residential demand for space heating and domestic hot water would be expected, alongside a significant decrease in commercial and industrial heat demand. Fortunately, by the time EBRD regions locked down, the period of peak heating demand had already passed and district heating (DH) systems were operating with sufficient spare generation capacity. As the lockdown progressed, the weather got milder and systems either have ended their heating seasons. This is also applicable to regions where residents rely on natural gas networks and individual boilers for heating.

District cooling systems are not yet widespread in our countries of operations (COOs), but when the pandemic takes hold in warmer countries during the summer, lockdowns could increase residential cooling demand and strain urban electricity grids (...) Read more

this article was originally published by Balkan Green Energy News, here

Authors: Greg Gebrail, Energy Specialist and Bojan Bogdanović, Fund Manager – Renewable District Energy in the Western Balkans Fund (ReDEWeB), Sustainable Infrastructure Group in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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Last updated on the 25-06-2020 by Construction21 Communication

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