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.
Helsingør developed its own Climate Plan back in 2009. The municipality is part of a regional cooperation programme aimed at developing a Strategic Energy Plan in partnership with all the municipalities in the area, and is a signatory to the European Covenant of Mayors (www.eumayors.eu).
This case study covers the investigation of renewable heat supply options for the new development area «Teilraum 31» in Ansfelden. The area is mainly owned by the municipality which, therefore, can define priorities regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy. The new development area could include ca. 120,000 m2. According to the current planning strategy, it will be used for different types of buildings – mainly residential ones, and could reach a plot ratio of 0,45 to 0,55 per building lot. The expected buildings consist of around 100 single-family houses, 200 row houses and 10 small multi-family houses.
A farmer and engineer, Ulrich Bader, owns a biogas plant located close to the southern german village Vatersdorf. In 2012 he initiated and developed (with the help of a heat pipe manufacturer) a small scale district heating network to give a purpose to the heat released by the biogas plant. In combination with two wood-chip boilers and a fossil oil boiler Ulrich Bader can guarantee sufficient heating throughout the year to 85 households of the village Vatersdorf.
Dollnstein is a small community with about 2,700 inhabitants in the heart of Bavaria, Germany. Dollnstein is located in the Altmühltal Nature Park, one of the most popular touristic destinations in Bavaria. In 2011, the municipality has initiated and in 2013/14 installed an intelligent heating network for about 40 households and several communal buildings.
The village Büsingen, located in the south of Germany, has a 100% renewable heating district. In winter the biomass boiler delivers most heat, while in summer the solar park takes over as main producer of heat. A rapeseed oil boiler is available for peak loads.