Within a privately owned residential building a variety of technologies are implemented to reduce the energy consumption. Both a solar heating system and heat pump are connected to a boiler for the heating of water. This water is used as sanitary hot water. Space heating and cooling is achieved from fan coil units (FCUs); where hot or cold water circulates inside the convectors depending on the need. Finally, underfloor heating is established through a closed water pipe system, with a heat pump as heating source. The monitoring of the entire system takes place in one control unit.
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.
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.
Brædstrup Fjernvarme has during the last 10 years been a Danish frontrunner in how to make district heating efficient, cheap for the customers and environmentally friendly at the same time through activities in the electricity market, smart metering, introduction of regularly service visits by the customers and support to improvement of house installations, implementation of the worlds first large scale solar district heating plant combined with natural gas fired CHP, implementation of borehole storage, heat pump and electric boiler to be able to maximise flexibility in the electricity market. The result has been a natural gas reduction of 38%.
In 2008, the Regional Municipality of Bornholm decided to become a 100% sustainable and CO2-neutral society in 2025, in which only sustainable and renewable energy is used. In 2019, already 60% of the island’s energy is produced fossil-free by using wind, sun and biomass power. The island’s green vision, big share of renewable energy, citizen and community involvement and replicability of the energy solution helped in winning the 2019 RESponsible Island Prize.
In 1984 the first geothermal plant has been established in Denmark, Thisted. In combination with two absorption heat pumps, excess heat from a waste incineration plant and a straw fired boiler it is part of a district heating network. This heat network delivers a total of 7 700 kW to 5 117 consumers in the area.