The future of district heating

What will the future of district heating look like when wind and solar dominate the electricity market as is expected within the coming decade?

In this analysis for Dansk Fjernvarme, Energy Modelling Lab has dived into the details of the future of district heating in Denmark. We have explored where the heat will come from, and whether our energy system will get too vulnerable without the thermal powerplants.

Our results show, that the thermal power and district heating plants will close down faster than projected by the Danish Energy Agency.

Key findings

In the future district heating will primarily come from large-scale heat pumps and waste heat from PtX plants and data centers.

The thermal power and heat plants are being phased out faster than the Danish Energy Agency projects.

An energy system with a low diversity comes with an increased risk of failure.

Read the full analysis here (in Danish):

Building DK-BioRes

Energy Modelling Lab has updated the Danish TIMES model (TIMES-DK) to include 23 individual district heating areas and four aggregated areas.

Energy Modelling Lab has investigated the consequences of an upper limit in biomass used for power and heat and an upper limit in the number of PtX plants.

All results and scenarios are collected in the report above.

Duration: 2022

EML TeamMikkel Bosack Simonsen, Ida Græsted Jensen, Alexandra O’Sullivan Freltoft and Kenneth Karlsson

Client: Dansk Fjernvarme

Budget: DKK 350,000

Reference: Thorbjørn Nejsum, Head of Department, Dansk Fjernvarme