Low Temperature District Heating for the Baltic Sea Region
LowTEMP
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.3 Energy efficiency

LowTEMP

The Interreg project LowTEMP brought together 19 partners from nine countries and 30 associated organisations to improve strategic tools on planning, financing, installing and managing Low Temperature District Heating systems allowing to significantly decrease heat loss.
The challenge

Modernisation of district heating systems (DHS) is in full swing in the Baltic Sea region, but more needs to be done. The potential in using low temperature district heating systems with a significant decrease in heat loss by using renewable energy and waste as heat sources is not fully unveiled. District heating systems are somehow widesread in the Baltic Sea region, but the current generation of heating grids and technologies is outdated. Furthermore, they often do not comply with latest energy efficiency standards, both in renovated or newly constructed buildings. This leads to pressing challenges such as heat energy losses, hydraulic problems and economic disadvantages.

Need for an upgrade

Therefore district heating systems and technologies need to be adapted and upgraded in order to decrease grid heat losses and exploit synergies. The optimisation of district heating grids can be done using low temperature heat distribution. This means that supply and return temperatures should be as low as possible.

The installation of low temperature grids or its integration into existing district heating systems is a challenge, in particular for economic and technical planning: investments require high upfront costs, while construction works on the pipeline system require the coordination of experts and public authorities.

Budgets

LowTEMP
in numbers
  • 3.77
    Million
    Total
  • 2.84
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.17
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

19 partners from nine countries and 30 associated organisations gathered together in order to provide district heating stakeholders with know-how and strategic tools on planning, financing, installing and managing Low Temperature District Heating systems (LTDH). The project involved municipal, regional and national authorities, DH suppliers, energy agencies, associations, business support organisations, as well as research institutions.

Boosting implementation with new methodology and training

LowTEMP developed a methodology for strategies to increase energy efficiency in existing and new district heating networks. The methodology provides specific step-by-step guideline on how to develop energy strategy and apply it at municipal level. It contains area analysis, stocks evaluations, analysis of increasing energy efficiency potential, technical preconditions and requirements of district heating, profitability assessment, CO2 balance and monitoring methods.

With 26 modules containing information on strategies and concepts to the best practices, the project provided valuable training material as a basis for training on different possibilities of heating supply, technical and financing issues, as well as corporate development of energy strategies and business models.

Local pilots inspire

The tailored solutions based on the current type of the district heating supply infrastructures, the existing problems and potential for improvement were tested in pilots across the Baltic Sea region. For instance, in Aluksne (Latvia) energy efficiency measures were introduced in a kindergarten in order to prepare for future LTDH system. In Holbaek (Denmark) the pilot implemented a LTDH subnet in a conventional DH network; in Halmstad (Sweden) a low-temperature district heating grid was installed in a completely new residential area; in Gulbene (Latvia) an existing heating network was converted to a low temperature concept, with low temperature heating system, with more efficient wood pellet boiler house and newly constructed heat pipes being provided to some municipal buildings. More about the pilot measures can be found here.

Improved calculations on economic efficiency and business modelling

LowTEMP developed a calculation method, which helps understand the profitability and funding gap of a given district heating project. It is based on the evaluation of the internal rate of return and net present value of an investment over a period of 20 years. It includes an excel based calculation tool, a manual and an analysis for more background information on financial framework and funding gaps. The tool allows to calculate investments for grid and/or generating plants.

Additionally, publishing the Study on Business Models and Innovative Funding Structures the project presented a business model on tools based on low temperature district heating. It provides examples of innovative pricing models, new value chains, business opportunities, as well as innovative funding structures. A toolbox and a template of a business model canvas complement the study. The material is developed for district heating companies and municipalities, who want to examine new business opportunities and understand how they could change their business model and funding structure for district heating in a low temperature district heating scenario.

The project wanted not only to prove that district heating upgrades are a necessity to counteract the inefficiency of outdated systems, but also that upgrades are financially profitable for end-users and operators. So further initiatives and investments in smart and sustainable district heating systems should be triggered. LowTemp tools help exactly in this, as they are ready-for-use means to take steps towards improving district heating systems. This is a way on which the pilot municipalities already made steps forward.

The Interreg project LowTEMP used EUR 3.45 million from the European Union to enable the implementation of low temperature district heating. Besides the introduction of new technical and financial strategies, the project has additionally succeeded in strengthening cooperation with H2020 project Cool DH, Halmstad University, HafenCity University, Euroheat & Power which paved the way for new collaborations in district heating.

Outputs

Methodology for strategies to implement Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH)

This methodology provides a step-by-step guideline on how to compile an energy strategy and apply it at municipal level to increase energy efficiency in existing and new district heating networks. It delves into area analysis, stocks evaluations, potentials for increasing energy efficiency and diminishing consumption, technical preconditions and requirements of district heating, profitability assessment, CO2 balance and monitoring methods. The methodology is useful in particular municipal departments in charge of district heating systems, public authorities dealing with energy issues and urban development, heat suppliers and operators of district heating networks, as well as energy agencies/planners.

Training toolkit

The training package contains 26 modules that cover different aspects of planning and applying low-temperature district heating, from background information to strategies and concepts, from technical aspects to best practices. For each module, a powerpoint presentation and a handout are available. The training material is mainly for the use of energy agencies responsible for strategic development and implementation of low carbon strategies and measures, cluster agencies and business hubs related to a green economy, municipal representatives responsible for climate issues. The material can be used as a basis for different training formats, for instance, seminars on different possibilities of heating supply, as well as technical and financing issues, but also workshops for the corporate development of energy strategies and business models.

Calculation method on economic efficiency and funding gaps

This calculation method helps understand the profitability and funding gap of a given District Heating project. It is based on the evaluation of the internal rate of return and net present value of an investment over a period of 20 years. It includes an excel based calculation tool, a manual and an analysis for more background information on financial framework and funding gaps. The tool allows to calculate investments for grid and/or generating plants. The method and tool are targeted at district heating operators, investors and funding authorities.

Business models and innovative funding structures

The Study on Business Models and Innovative Funding Structures is mainly directed to district heating companies, municipalities and regional and national government. The study presents business model developing tools as adapted to low temperature district heating; it provides examples of innovative pricing models, new value chains, business opportunities and new professions, as well as examples of innovative funding structures. A toolbox and a template of a business model canvas complement the study. The target groups for the material are district heating companies and municipalities who want to examine new business opportunities and understand how they could change their business model and funding structure for district heating in a low temperature district heating scenario.

Project Stories

  • 29.03.2021

    Cooperation as the key to a climate-neutral Baltic Sea region

    A common challenge for the countries in the Baltic Sea region is how to produce green and climate-neutral energy. In fact, as much as 75% of the EU greenhouse gas emissions still come from energy use and production. Cooperation and sharing good practices in Interreg projects, such as LowTEMP, Baltic Integrid and Area 21, can be a game-changer in accelerating the energy transition in the region.
    Read full story
  • 11.06.2018

    Rethinking energy in the Baltic Sea region

    Establishing more sustainable and competitive energy systems that have a less harmful impact on the environment are among the core challenges for the Baltic Sea region. Two Interreg projects, AREA 21 and LowTEMP, unlock energy efficiency potential by triggering public and private strategic partnerships for energy production and management and by offering low temperature district heating technology for more efficient heating systems.
    Read full story

Partners

Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences (IMP PAN)

  • Town
    Gdańsk
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
524,500.00
54.3611928518.62860883362069

Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU) Cottbus - Senftenberg

  • Town
    Cottbus
  • Region
    Cottbus, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
281,336.00
51.756744714.3357307

ZEBAU - Centre for Energy, Construction, Architecture and the Environment GmbH

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
210,325.00
53.55034110.000654

Holbaek Municipality

  • Town
    Holbaek
  • Region
    Vest- og Sydsjælland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
169,912.00
56.551801910.2999963

Gate 21

  • Town
    Albertslund
  • Region
    Københavns omegn
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
115,664.00
55.658601812.3562849

Sustainable Business Hub (SBHub)

  • Town
    Malmö
  • Region
    Skåne län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
237,738.00
55.605293113.0001566

Thermopolis Ltd.

  • Town
    Lapua
  • Region
    Etelä-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
280,000.15
62.970278323.0068628

District Heating Kurikka

  • Town
    Kurikka
  • Region
    Etelä-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
80,000.00
62.617072722.3992367

Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA)

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
173,070.00
58.39564534999999526.630885501668523

Riga Technical University (RTU)

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
250,000.00
56.949397724.1051846

Vidzeme Planning Region

  • Town
    Cesis
  • Region
    Vidzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
149,878.00
57.314536125.2759759

Gulbene Municipality Council

  • Town
    Gulbene
  • Region
    Vidzeme
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
180,000.00
57.1744328526.733954972447822

Klaipeda University

  • Town
    Klaipeda
  • Region
    Klaipėdos apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
208,740.00
54.292469222.8131913

Public Institution Housing Energy Efficiency Agency

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
28,040.00
54.687045825.2829111

ANO Energy Efficiency Centre (ANO EEC)

  • Town
    Petrozavodsk
  • Region
    Arkhangelsk Oblast
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
199,747.00
61.78390134.44464792471686

District Heating Enterprise Ltd. - OPEC Gdynia

  • Town
    Gdynia
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
170,000.00
53.255277819.3958333

AGFW-Project-GmbH

  • Town
    Frankfurt am Main
  • Region
    Frankfurt am Main, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
163,886.00
50.11064448.6820917

Kalundborg Municipality

  • Town
    Kalundborg
  • Region
    Vest- og Sydsjælland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
123,619.00
55.683379311.0993619

Halmstad Energy and Environment (HEM)

  • Town
    Halmstad
  • Region
    Hallands län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
221,300.00
56.673982612.8574827