WIT Press

Cost Analysis Of District Heating Compared To Its Competing Technologies


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Page Range

3 - 13




358 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


O. Gudmundsson, J. E. Thorsen & L. Zhang


Cost analysis of district heating compared to its competing technologies O. Gudmundsson1, J. E. Thorsen1 & L. Zhang2 1Danfoss A/S, District Energy Division, Application Center, Denmark 2Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark Abstract When talking about energy sustainability it is important to note that energy quality should be fitted to the intended use of the energy. Today, heat generation accounts for over 40% of the total energy use in Europe and only a minority of this heat is delivered by district heating. As for energy quality and heating, space heating generally requires heat with energy quality of only 7% and domestic hot water requires energy quality of 15%. It is therefore a complete waste of energy quality to serve these sectors with electricity, which has an energy quality of 100% or by burning fossil fuels in individual gas boilers. The alternative is to deliver low quality heat through district heating network to end users. It is a common misunderstanding that district heating is an investment expensive technology. In this paper it is shown that the total investment costs are typically lower than for competing technologies. Due to the fact that district heating is invariant to the heat source it can easily be the cleanest heating option available and further, it provides the best possible means to match the energy quality to the energy need. This paper will shed some light on: a) the investment cost when establishing district heating network for inner and outer cities; b) the cost of a few of the available heat sources for district heating; c) how district heating, cost wise, compares to other heating technologies available. The main conclusion of the paper is that district heating is an important player in today’s heat market and has the potential to be a key player in future energy its competing technologies


district heating, renewables, energy, efficiency, environmentally friendly, gas emissions