EU climate efforts to be secured with district heating

Date: 2 April 2014

EU’s climate efforts can be secured quickly with district heating – even with an economic advantage

UN climate panel’s report: A major expansion of district heating at EU level will be of huge climate benefit – and will simultaneously benefit both the economy and employment. Today, what is equivalent to 1,000 Euro per EU citizen is wasted, because the surplus heat is merely cooled off. Instead it should be made to provide people with heating in their living rooms, says Danish District Heating Association’s international manager Birger Lauersen, who is also Vice President of the European district heating organization Euroheat & Power .

Today, only 12 percent of citizens in the EU have district heating. If district heating begins to reach more people, the EU will take giant steps when it comes to the climate. “By utilising the energy that we already use more efficiently, we could reduce CO2 emissions drastically while providing employment and economic growth,” said Birger Lauersen.

By utilizing the waste heat for district heating for example from the many coal power plants in Poland, Germany and other EU countries instead of, as today, to let it cool off in rivers, sea and up into the air, much less fuels would be spent.

“The benefits are multi-faceted: there will definitely be saved money on purchases of fuels, and there will also be jobs to be gained with the rollout of the district heating network. Double tilization of fuels also induces a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions,”says Birger Lauersen. In fact, the energy waste is so large that it corresponds to the total imports of fuels for the EU countries, i.e. approx. 500 billion Euros – or the equivalent of 1,000 Euros per EU citizen.

Denmark has an expansion of district heating of 63 percent, which means 1,632,000 households.

Source: The Danish District Heating Association