The role of district heating in the future Danish energy system

Heating | February 2013 - May 2014

It was decided to conduct a series of analyses of the Danish energy sector, as a part of the political agreement on Danish Energy Policy towards 2020 from March 2012. This included analyses of the gas system, the electricity system, the district heating systems and the use of bioenergy. In this context, Ea Energy Analyses and COWI have conducted an analysis of the role of district heating in the future Danish energy system for the Danish Energy Agency.

The analysis had two main focus points:

  • The development of the energy consumption in district heating
  • The production of district heating in the future energy system

The buildings’ heat consumption is expected to decline over the coming years, and this may challenge the economy of district heating, because the fixed costs of infrastructure is to be shared among fewer and fewer energy units. The power system will increasingly be based on renewable energies, mostly on wind power and to a lesser extent on thermal power plants, which will change and challenge the way the district heating will be produced.

Scenarios for the future development of the Danish energy system towards 2050 have been drawn up in cooperation with the Danish Energy Agency. Furthermore, the consequences of various development paths for district heating are analysed using the Balmorel model.