The EU strategy on heating & cooling aims to reduce the thermal energy demand as well as increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix. In 2019, just over 20% of the total heating and cooling energy supplied came from renewable sources in Europe. In that regard, 5th generation of district heating and cooling (5GDHC) comes forward as a promising solution. Low-temperature, and demand-driven, these networks fit very well with energy efficient homes and reduce overall energy consumption by capitalizing on energy exchange between prosumers. To help project developers who are considering 5GDHC, the D2Grids project is launching a new tool to assess their project and get proposed designs suited for each situation.
How can the Project Initiation tool help project developers and local policy makers ?
By giving macro level indications about the compatibility of a local project with 5GDHC.
5th generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC) networks can source/distribute heating and cooling to a wide variety of “prosumers”. They are also highly compatible with ambitious territorial planning such as massive building renovation operations. Moreover, because of an increased decentralization of energy production, these networks propose a much larger pallet of possible layouts compared to previous designs. Project developers starting new networks (or wanting to improve their existing network) may find it hard to get a clear view on the opportunities open to them and difficult to design a concrete action plan to transition to 5GDHC.
Designed for project developers, designers and service providers in the initiation phase of their project, the “5GDHC assessment tool” helps the user evaluate how far from 5th generation DHC their project is, and what would be the next steps for implementation and optimization towards 5GDHC. The preliminary directions given by the tool will help you in launching detailed expert studies.
The 5GDHC kick-start tool can be accessed free-of-charge on the 5GDHC.eu platform. Developed by the D2Grids project, the platform aims to raise awareness around the 5th generation DHC networks by giving essential information to project developers, to industrials and to policy makers about these networks. On top of proposing essential information, the platform hosts a number of tools to facilitate project design and planification.
7 questions to assess your project
The D2Grids team has designed a simple 7 questions questionnaire allowing the user to understand which elements are important to consider when designing their 5th generation district. The questionnaire surveys general information such as the localisation of the project, the energy types that should be delivered (heating, cooling, domestic hot water) or the energy sources scheduled for the project.
Information necessary to fill-in the questionnaire can easily be found within several documents or local services such as local energy planning, heat maps, town hall services, or can easily be collected through local surveys.
Upon finishing the questionnaire, the user can download a report highlighting proposed designs suited to his situation. The tool also suggests ways to improve the design, when necessary, as well as external territorial strategies that may help in improving the efficiency of the design. Additionally, the report proposes specific local analysis including a review of local regulations, subsidies and institutions around heating and cooling, and specifically those concerning the 5GDHC.
Project developers, do not hesitate to take the questionnaire to understand how you can implement 5GDHC on your territory!