Assens Fjernvarme (Denmark) has supplemented their existing wood chip combined heat and power plant and an existing wind turbine with a solar cell system and an air to water heat pump system. This unique combination of renewable energy sources makes it possible to combine a low price for heat consumers with the production of green electricity when the electricity market needs electricity and purchase electricity from the electricity grid when there is a surplus of green electricity in the grid.
Green industrial areas are an important part of the transition to a sustainable economic system. This case shows how local policymakers connect the local renewable energy ambitions to concrete activities on a nearby industrial park. The park and the municipality cooperate together to create a green industrial area.
An interesting energy cooperation solution can be found in Tuscany, where one can find an industrial area mainly composed of several tanneries and a shared
wastewater treatment plant, managed by Cuoiodepur. Several local stakeholders agreed on the following principles:
1.) Energy cooperation is considered as a chance to highlight the efforts of industrial park towards a low carbon economy.
2.) Reduction of energy costs.
3.) Energy autonomy in order to avoid the risks associated with the volatility of energy prices and enhance the use of potential energy.
4.) A more economic and environmentally sustainable management of solid and liquid waste.
In 1999 Aberdeen City Council, which has some 26,500 properties, adopted a comprehensive Affordable Warmth Strategy. Since then Aberdeen has upgraded a large proportion of their housing stock. The improvements were mainly in heating systems, building fabric and levels of insulation. They have made a positive contribution to achieving local key objectives of affordability, sustainability, ensuring tenants’ safety and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
A housing co-operative in one of Scotland’s poorest regions is investing £6.5 million in a scheme to boost almost 550 households out of fuel poverty. West Whitlawburn Housing Co-operative – run by a volunteer board of 14 unpaid tenants – will connect 543 homes to a renewable biomass boiler through a district heating system. The project, part-funded with £1.5 million of Warm Homes Fund loan cash, will bring annual heat and hot water savings of around 20% to tenants.
In the small Slovenian town Kuzma a district heating network is established based on biomass burning. The investments were made by a private company, with the financial support of the national government, and the aim of reducing energy prices in the area. The biomass used is collected from local wood owners in the neighbourhood and converted into heat by two biomass boilers. In combination with a 10 m3 storage tank for peak load no additional heat source is required to supply heating to 58 houses and some other residential buildings.
The biomass heating plant and district heating grid in Güttenbach (Austria) was built in 1997. The boilers are fired with wood chips from local forests. There are two boilers installed, one biomass boiler with 1 MW capacity and one oil boiler for peak load and backup with 1.3 MW capacity. The village of Güttenbach has about 900 inhabitants and an area of 16 km2. The district heating grid has a length of 12 km with about 240 connected consumers. Each year there are 5,200 MWh heat sold to the consumers.
In the Achental Valley, a mountainous area located in the south of Germany, a heating grid has been installed driven by wood chip burning. The potential of using biomass in the region has been discovered during the European RES-Integration project. This project has studied renewable energy potential in various poor regions across Europe. It resulted in the installation of a biomass center in Achental in combination with a boiler house, connected to a heating grid for 500 consumers.
In the south of Germany a small district heating network has been installed in the town of Mietraching/Bad Aibling. The main sources of district heating are a woodchip boiler, mainly used in cold days, and solar collectors, mainly used in the warm days. The solar collectors are connected to centralised and decentralised buffer tanks for energy storage. Furthermore, a gas installation is delivering peak load for in mid-winter. The district heating network supplies heating to about 130 households, 2 schools, office buildings and a hotel.
The district heating system of Brasov has gone through several transformations in the attempt to find a solution for the zones located within the urban agglomeration of Brașov. Unfortunately, the lack of vision and the misun- derstanding of the advantages of such a system, coupled with a legislation that allows for easily installing natural gas individual boilers, led to a situation where only 4% of the local population was still connected to the DH in 2014 (reference year of the project).The future of this system is directly linked to the local policies, which should be supported by the population, by the real estate developers and last but not least, by policy makers.
The current strategy is trying to provide insight into the renewable sources that could be used in the future in order to ensure energy security and cost efficient heat supply at local level.