Heating is the largest single energy end-use in Europe. It is responsible for approximately 50% of total final energy consumption. District heating (DH) systems provide heating for a wide range of customers, from residential building to agricultural sectors, including commercial, public and industrial customers.
There are more than 7000 DH systems in Europe, currently supplying more than 10% of total European heat demands with an annual turnover of €25-30 billion and 2 EJ (556 TWh) heat sales. Market penetration of district heating is unevenly distributed, being close to zero in some countries while reaching as high as 70% of the heat market in others.
The benefits of district heating and district cooling are most apparent in areas with high density energy demands. In the European Union some 73% of the population live in cities, expected to rise to an estimated 80% by 2030. At present 69% of total primary energy demands are concentrated in urban areas.
Nowadays, the substations for residential buildings and offices are in most cases handicraft works.
Through agreeing on harmonising a number of features in district heating substations, the district heating industry will be able to produce in series district heating substations with a significantly reduced handicraft parts. By achieving a harmonisation of district heating substations, the industry will be able to manufacture safer, more environmentally friendly cost-competitive equipment.