District heating and solar heating has got increased interest all over Europe in recent years and more than solar 100 plants with more than 500 m2 of solar collectors have been put into operation since the mid 90’s.
A number of interesting applications of solar heat, i.e. in combination with CHP, provided by ESCO’s, using net-metering, using innovative seasonal storage and solar heating and cooling concepts, are described and analysed in order to enhance knowledge and technology transfer. A prevailing success factor is the involvement of one or several local actors with interest and knowledge to develop and demonstrate the new technologies, being a local city government, a local utility, a local manufacturer or a combination of those.
A combination of favourable conditions and strong local actors has created a boom for large solar district heating plants in Denmark. The recent strong development in Wind Power in Denmark has created a situation where it in periods with good wind conditions is less feasible to operate the CHP and more feasible to operate boilers to supply the required district heat. This situation makes solar district heating very interesting.
A strong local actor has succeeded to introduce solar district heating on a large scale in the city of Graz, Austria. The anticipated uncertainties with solar heating has been overcome by the creation of an Energy Service Company (ESCO) that makes the investment, operates the plant and sells the heat to housing facility owners and/or to the district heating utility. An increased interest by building owners connected to district heating has further created a strong development of small distributed solar heating systems with net-metering contracts in Swedish district heating systems.
Furthermore, a number of applications to combat and utilise the annual variations of the solar radiation have been demonstrated. First, a number of innovative seasonal storage concepts in Germany, second, the use of solar heat to provide cooling, e.g. in Czech Republic.



Success Factors in Solar District Heating

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  • 30 September 2014 Creation Date
  • 25 September 2019 Last Updated