Release the energy

Date: 2 November 2016

Within the European Union buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. Heating and cooling stand for a majority of this consumption. In order to achieve the energy reduction targets for 2020,it is obvious that an improvement in this field is required in Europe. Many activities are ongoing when it comes to energy savings and, piece by piece, they add up to a sustainable energy infrastructure. Digitalisation, however, is a crucial step to making this happen.

What role will digitalisation play in a sustainable energy infrastructure?
In several European markets district heating is the major technology for both heating and cooling (DHC). In some markets the penetration is low and so they are picking up speed. Regardless of the market penetration, you will find a common ground for these grids. Under the right conditions, district heating is clearly a sustainable and environmentally friendly technology, but there are improvement areas where digitalisation will play the most important role. If this is done with a sustainable mindset, and long-term thinking, it will lead to the world’s most environmentally friendly technology for heating and cooling.

Digitalisation will not only decrease the consumption in buildings, it will also optimise the production and distribution systems. In addition, a great amount of useful data will be gathered for further improvements. During the coming years we will see a big leap in this area, which will lead to a sustainable energy infrastructure.

Of course there are challenges to overcome and those differ between grids. Fossil fuel needs to be reduced, production prices need to stay competitive, new pipes to be placed, new buildings (i.e. new customers) must be connected, and old peak load oil or gas burners must be phased out.

 

Source: EHP / Horizon 2020 projects portal – Issue 12