What is District Heating and what benefits does it offer?

District heating has become an increasingly popular and attractive renewable energy solution across the EU in recent years but what is it and what benefits does it offer?

What is District Heating?

District heating is an energy distribution network that delivers heat from large central locations through underground infrastructure. District heating provides metered space heating and hot water to the buildings connected to the network.

What are the benefits of District Heating?

District heating provides for many environmental and economical benefits. It offers a sustainable alternative to heat and can assist countries in meeting EU renewable energy targets. 

Some of the benefits of district heating include:

  • Carbon reductions
  • A better uptake of renewable energy
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Improved air quality
  • Employment creation
  • Reduced fuel poverty
  • Reduced dependency on fossil fuels
  • Improved building energy ratings
  • Constant supply of hot water
  • Competitive heating costs

Where is District Heating in use?

District heating is popular in Eastern Europe and across many countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland but remains a relatively unknown concept in other region of the EU such as Ireland. 

District Heating and SMARTrenew

SMARTrenew Finnish partner, Oulu University of Applied Science, is building and piloting a heat storage solution for district heating in the Kuusamo area of Northern Finland. The aim is to produce electricity during its high price hours while heat can be stored if not needed.

This pilot will offer a cost effective, carbon reducing, energy storage solution and enable the partner regions to gain insight and transferable knowledge from the advanced use of renewable energy in Finland. 

Read more about the Oulu University of Applied Science (OUAS) SMARTrenew pilot

Read more about district heating