Heat Roadmap Europe: Europe – Identifying Local Heat Demand and Supply Areas with a European Thermal Atlas

    • Energy 158 (2018) 281 - 292
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    Author(s) - alphabetically sorted:

    Connolly, David; Grundahl, Lars; Möller, Bernd; Persson, Urban; Wiechers, Eva

    In 2016 the first Strategy for Heating and Cooling of the European Union has shown that district heating and cooling networks can integrate renewable energies in an increasingly energy-efficient built environment. At the same time, the heating and cooling sector is probably the most diverse and least mapped component of the European energy system. The aim of the Pan-European Thermal Atlas is to improve the knowledge base for the geographical distribution of heat and cooling demands across Europe. Demand densities of the demanded thermal services themselves, the spatial coherence of these demands, and their location relative to sources of heating greatly affect the economy of district heating schemes compared to individual solutions. The objective is therefore to develop a comprehensive model, which can be used to a) quantify heat demands by density, b) group coherent areas with demands into prospective supply zones, c) produce supply curves for these zones, and d) ultimately calculate local energy mixes on the basis of allocated excess heat as well as renewable energy sources. The developed method spatially disaggregates national demand data to high-resolution geospatial data on urban structures. The resulting atlas allows for an advanced quantitative screening process, which can establish the basis for energy systems analyses relying on geographically explicit information on the heating demand and supply volumes and costs. The present paper presents version 4 of the Pan-European Thermal Atlas, which takes another step towards higher spatial resolution and confidence in comparison to its predecessors, version 1 to 3. For the first time, a 100 m resolution heat atlas of Europe is being presented, which may help describing the heating sector in the required spatial resolution. By means of spatial statistical analyses using ordinary least square linear regressions, multiple spatial inputs such as population, degree of built-up and its derivatives are turned into a coherent model of the urban tissue. Plot ratios form the basis of models of heat demand in single and multi-family residential buildings as well as the service sector. Prospective district heating areas have been delineated, and the resulting zoning of heat supply has been linked to a resource-economic analysis, which allows for cost-supply studies in disaggregated form. The present heat atlas version 4 is now available for 14 countries that altogether represent 90% of the heat demand in the 28 European Union member states. First results are being presented with emphasis on the achieved methodological improvements. Moreover, a newly developed online mapping system is being presented, which will assist in mapping the new geography of heating and cooling demands and supplies.