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Special - Spatial Planning and Energy for Communities in All Landscapes Town and Country Planning Association European Union

Knowledge Pool

Module 4: Implementation of Sustainable Planning

4.1 Heat supply

Introduction

Heat supply means the provision of heat to residential, public, and industrial buildings and structures to meet customers’ residential (heating, cooling, hot-water supply) and industrial needs. A distinction is made between building and district heat supply. Building heat supply systems serve one or several buildings; district systems serve a residential or industrial area.

Summary

Heat supply means the provision of heat to residential, public, and industrial buildings and structures to meet customers’ residential (heating, cooling, hot-water supply) and industrial needs. A distinction is made between building and district heat supply. Building heat supply systems serve one or several buildings; district systems serve a residential or industrial area. The principal advantages of district heat supply over building heat supply are significant reductions in fuel expenditures and operating costs (for example, by automation and increased efficiency of boiler units), the possibility of using low-grade fuel, reduction of air pollution, and improvement of health conditions in populated areas. According to Eurostat  renewable energy accounted for 15.1 % of total energy use for heating and cooling in the EU-28 in 2011. This is a significant increase from 9.6 % in 2004.  Increases in industrial sectors, services and residential use (building sector) contributed to this growth. Aerothermal, geothermal and hydrothermal heat energy captured by heat pumps should be also taken into account.

Heat consumption is big cost factor for households. In Germany for example the costs of (mainly fossil based) heat in household increased up to 170 percent in the last 15 years (2013). Source: Stephan Kohler, Head of Dena in ZfK, 2013.

A district heat supply system includes a source of heat, the heat supply system (grid), and the heat-consuming installations, which are connected to the system through heat distribution points. With district heat supply, the sources of heat may be district heat and power plants (CHP), which combine the production of electricity and heat. CHP is a significant contributor to the heat supply in Europe, supplying 15.2% in 2009. Heat sources could be natural gas and biogas or oil engines and coal and biomass solid fuel boilers (in combination with hot water storage tanks/ heat loads), heat pumps, waste (water) energy, central solar thermal heating as well as nuclear power.

In building heat supply, the sources of heat may be furnaces, hot-water boilers, or water heaters, including solar heaters.

Heat supply also includes the development of heat maps showing locations where heat demand is sufficient to support district heating. Often these maps are included as part of an energy map.

District heating networks provide the following direct benefits (Combined Heat & Power Association (CHPA), 2013):

  • enabling the efficient transportation and use of heat for a wide variety of users
  • allowing a broad range of energy generation technologies to work together to meet demand for heat
  • enabling fuel flexibility
  • helping to efficiently manage supply and demand of energy
  • lowering costs of energy generation
  • dramatically increasing fuel efficiency through use of CHP
  • reducing labour and maintenance cost as compared to individual systems

Figure 1: District heating (Source: Compare Renewables).

These in turn deliver a range of beneficial outcomes:

  • provides a means of securing significant reduction in CO2 emissions through the optimisation of heat supply
  • extending the reach of renewables, by using renewable heat efficiently and providing opportunities for the deployment of renewable technologies that otherwise wouldn’t be viable
  • improving security of supply
Planning

In addition to technical planning aspects of heating devices and district heating networks the following planning aspects are associated with heat supply:

  • Consideration of location of supply facilities to the settlement areas (heat customer), relevant for length of tubes. Costs and transmission lost,
  • Consideration of possibilities to use existing waste heat potentials,
  • Control of the energetic standard of the settlement,
  • Determination of priority areas for the heat supply,
  • Safety of sites/areas for the heat production and routes for the installation of a heat net,
  • Planning determination of facilities for the connection of the heat supply as well as the determination of compulsory connection and usage of a local or long distance heating systems.

Figure 2: Map of network opportunity areas assessed in the options appraisal, Bury St. Edmunds (Source: LDA Design).

1. Local level

Relevant are the land development plan and the binding land use plan.

Heat punps: They are mostly located on housing sites. Noise conflicts have to be considered.

CHP: Noise conflicts have to be considered.

2. Regional Level

Biomass: It is useable for different techniques such as biomass plants or CHP facilities. Spatial relevant is the production of biomass at specific areas under crops (groundwater quality, biodiversity) as well as the facilities of use. The determination of exemptions areas for specific uses are only possible when planning is regionally significant.

Geothermal: These technique is mostly not regionally significant. But to foster such technology through regional planning it is possible to describe a balanced energy mix for increasing the use of renewables. Furthermore it is possible to identify/regulate a reservation- or priority area for the implementation of large scale geothermal supply. The competition between geothermal uses and other purposes of the underground are not finally solvable on the regional planning level.

3. Country Level

 

4. National Level

Town and country planning code

Technical Details
  • Cf. Skagestad, Bard and Peter Mildenstein: District Heating and Cooling Connection Handbook
Innovations & Social
  • Biomass CHP systems are even less carbon intensive than gas- or coal-powered plant, as they use a lower-carbon, more sustainable fuel source.
  • Power to gas can be a future solution to storage/use surplus energy from renewable energy plants in cases of a higher supply than demand (in Germany often in summer times at windy days).

Maps, planning documents

Links, literature

 

(also available in German, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish)

(also available in German, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish)

(also available in German, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish)

Further documents, presentations

  • Peter North: A District Heating annual for London, presentation at SPECIAL training week London, 22-26 April 2013.
  • Rob Shaw: Techniques for sustainable energy, presentation at SPECIAL training week London, 22-26 April 2013.
  • Sean Rendall: Developing Community Energy in Central Milton Keynes, presentation at SPECIAL training week London, 22-26 April 2013.
  • Dinny James: Planning a District Heat Network in Nine Elms, presentation at SPECIAL training week London, 22-26 April 2013.
  • Mats Johan Lundström: The Swedish Energy System, presentation at SPECIAL training week Stockholm/ Malmo, 21-24 May 2013.

Related presentations at SPECIAL's Training Week - UK, April 2013

London District Heating Guidance for Planners – Peter North, Greater London Authority

Related presentations at SPECIAL's Training Week - Sweden, May 2013

The Swedish Energy System (focus on district heating) - Mats Johan Lundström, FFS