Reduce the carbon footprint of existing buildings with 5th generation heating and cooling networks in North West European cities

Heating and cooling accounts for 50% of the EU's total energy consumption but only 19.1% comes from renewable energy sources, and in 5 of the 7 North-West European countries this share is less than 8.2%. These are therefore key areas for increasing the share of renewable energies.

D2Grids will contribute to this by deploying this functional but under-utilised concept of a 5th century heating and cooling network.
Generation: 5GDHC. It is an optimized and demand-driven local energy loop system in urban areas. Its key characteristics are:

- A low-temperature network with decentralized energy production

- A closed thermal loop for energy exchange between buildings connected to the network

  • - Thermal and electrical networks designed in an integrated way.

Thanks to this low temperature network, low losses and efficient heat exchange mechanisms, the total energy demand is very low, and can be stably supplied up to 100% by ENR.

Industrialisation and commercialisation of 5GDHC through 5 pilot sites

D2Grids' objective is to increase the share of ENR in heating and cooling networks to 20% in North-Western Europe, 10 years after the end of the project, through this 5GDHC network concept.
This will be allowed by:

  • - the industrialisation of the system through the development of a standardised technological model,
  • - an acceleration of its commercialization thanks to a solid business model more adapted to investors,
  • - demonstrators on pilots in Bochum, Brunssum, Glasgow, Nottingham and Paris-Saclay.

The long-term effects will be ensured by:

  • strategic and feasibility studies to support and deploy the 5GDHC system,
  • tailor-made training programmes for professionals and politicians,
  • the construction of a transnational community through a platform for knowledge exchange between key target groups,
  • evaluation studies to draw recommendations for national and European policies.

This €19.3 million project is financed by Interreg North West Europe funds for 60% of the total budget, or €11.6 million.

Lead partner: Mijnwater B.V.

Project duration: 2018 - 2021

Partner organizations :
Asper Investment Management Ltd, UK
Clyde Gateway Developments Ltd, UK
Open University, NL
Greenflex, FR
Construction 21, FR 
Flemish Institute for Technological, Research NV, BE
Nottingham City Council, UK


Communauté Projet D2Grids