Prepare a local heat plan to match need and available resource
From Energy Cities Wiki
We need more heat and cooling than electricity although we paradoxically attach more importance to the latter. All buildings have heating and/or cooling requirements and heat sources are often available nearby. These can take many forms: power plant, combined heat and power unit, waste incineration plant, free industrial heat, wastewater, refrigerating units, data centres, surplus capacities from biomass boilers, etc. There are also low temperature heat sources that can be used for cooling, like rivers, lakes and seas.
There is often no relation between supply and demand. Why is that so? Is it due to a lack of information, to differing legal entities or are solutions considered as too complex? We use energy to produce heat whereas heat sources are wasted nearby.
Such a situation is no longer acceptable in a world that is putting energy abundance behind it.
Prepare a local heat plan, listing and locating all heating and cooling requirements and surplus resource potential in the territory. This spatial inventory will be part of the sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) and aims to eliminate heat wastage by making use of currently unused heat sources. The plan may introduce an obligation to inform municipal services when applying for planning permission.
• Considering the exploitation of unused heat sources as an opportunity rather than a constraint.
• Communicating on available heat sources, both in terms of quantities and quality.
• Influencing the location of any new installation generating excess heat so that it is as close as possible to demand areas.
• Facilitating the relation between heat suppliers and users.
Danish cities use renewable heat
Following the 1972 oil crisis, Denmark started reducing its dependency on fossil energy. Hence, oil and coal used in many district heating networks throughout the country are being progressively replaced by gas and renewable energy sources. The Danish legislation facilitated this transition by making local authorities responsible for energy planning. Existing district heating networks make perfect outlets for unused surplus energy. District heating in Denmark covers over 60% of heat requirements. In 2007, 80% of this heat was produced by CHP units and heat produced from waste incineration represented over 20% of total heat production.
The heart of Helsinki is now beating under the surface
Two Finnish firms built the greenest data centre of its time under Helsinki. Usually, only half the energy consumed in data centres is used by the computers themselves, the other half being used to cool them down! In Helsinki they use sea water, which is obviously very cold here, to cool the underground computer centre down, not electricity. And it doesn’t stop there. In addition to this initiative, thanks to an underground tunnel network and the world’s largest heat pumps, all excess heat is re-used to warm Helsinki homes and water. As you say in Finland: hyvä!*
- Well done!
Delft, the Netherlands
Waste heat to reduce CO2 emissions
Delft is banking on the construction of a heating network fed with waste heat to achieve its climate objectives. Delft city council has set up an energy service company as part of the European SESAC project to manage its future network. This ESCO is a partnership between the municipality, an electricity provider and housing associations. The network will connect to buildings currently equipped with condensation boilers and will be able to supply heating and domestic hot water to the equivalent of 20,000 housing units in two districts. Heat will be produced by heat pumps coupled with a CHP unit using waste heat from a wastewater treatment plant. The system is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 to 50%.
Marne-la-Vallée : Disney Land data centre provides heat to a business park.