The HOTMAPS toolbox

Supporting strategic heating & cooling planning at local level

Many cities and regions are currently preparing ambitious climate and energy
strategies and action plans, committing to net-zero carbon by 2050.
In November 2018, the European Commission presented its strategic long-term vision for climate neutrality by 2050: “A Clean Planet for all”. Decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector plays a major part in the plan: the largest share of energy consumption in cities (where 75 % of the EU population live) is used for heating and cooling.

Phasing out fossil fuels from the energy system will bring three main advantages: it will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, improve the security of supply and positively affect the commercial balance (which at local level means an increase of job oppor tunities). However, achieving a 100 % renewable energy system, and in par ticular a fossil-free heating and cooling supply, requires strategic planning.
New technical, regulatory and governance frameworks are necessary to transition to a more sustainable and green system.

The toolbox was developed together with cities, to make sure Hotmaps is useful for local authorities and city planners. Seven European pilot areas have been successfully testing it, to develop their heating and cooling strategies: Aalborg (Denmark), Bistrita (Romania), Frankfur t (Germany), Kerry County (Ireland), Milton Keynes (UK) and San Sebastián (Spain).

How HOTMAPS can help you to assess different energy scenarios

Hotmaps is a powerful tool to work on heating and cooling planning. It has led pilot cities to test and evaluate different energy scenarios, providing an integral analysis of their energy resources. Users can upload their own city’s data and calculate precise energy scenarios. Hotmaps can also provide a set of indicators for these scenarios, allowing to analyse their economic, financial and technical feasibility.

Thanks to HOTMAPS, cities are able to:

  • identify the location of current heating and cooling demand as well as supply on a map for EU28;
  • identify renewable energy potential to supply heating and cooling for a selected area;
  • calculate the potential for ef ficient district heating options within a selected area;
  • estimate and compare the costs of individual heating vs. district heating options within a selected area;
  • compare the results from local heating and cooling planning with national and regional de-carbonisation pathway;
  • compare the impact of different scenarios for the future development of heating and cooling in a cer tain area;
  • calculate the optimal energy mix for district heating supply within a cer tain area.

The cities involved in the project have been using this free and open source tool to get preliminary information, before committing further resources to more detailed studies. They have also checked Hotmaps data against existing scenarios created with other tools or by consultancy firms.