This is where the CO2 neutral city starts

Nordhavn

Sector integration

Heating and cooling accounts for half of the EU’s energy consumption and is currently 75% fossil-fuel based. To succeed with the energy transition in Europe, therefore, decarbonizing our heating and cooling supply is essential. Energy efficiency and the smart integration of renewable energy through sector coupling, is the cost-effective pathway for achieving our goals.

A new report from Aalborg University in Denmark sets the vision and concrete pathway for decarbonizing the European heating and cooling sector by 2050, based on the significant potential of district energy and energy efficiency in Europe.

Download summary

The report by Aalborg University was initiated by Danfoss and Engie.
Download the full version here.

Five key takeaways from the report

Smart integrated systems are more cost-efficient

Utilizing energy system synergies and exploiting energy efficiency results in a reduction in primary energy of 13% compared to a ‘conventionally decarbonized’ scenario in 2050. And it reduces total energy system costs by approximately 70 bn EUR per year.

Modern low temperature district heating will substantially increase efficiency

4th generation district heating operating with low temperatures could lead to primary energy savings of around 120 TWh/year and cost savings of up to 6 bn EUR/year in the HRE scenario. It will also enable the integration of low-carbon energy sources, such as waste heat and geothermal.

A system approach ensures optimal use of investment and resources

With the right balance between investments in end-user savings and
investments in decarbonized energy supply, an affordable decarbonization
is possible by reducing space-heating demands by 30%.

Significant potential in moving from a supply to a demand-driven system

By improving the energy efficiency of district energy systems and moving from a supply to a demand-driven system with automatic controls, savings of up to 40% can be achieved. Exact pressure-, temperature- and flow control minimizes heat losses and optimizes network operation.

The policy framework is key to this transition

Setting ambitious targets, ensuring a level playing field for different solutions and securing finance, are some of the elements the policy framework should cover. Absolutely crucial is the collection of data and the making of detailed plans for how to decarbonize heating and cooling.

Towards a decarbonized heating and cooling sector

Explore our case stories

Learn more about our solutions for district energy