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This is the fourth step of the analysis at local and municipal level.

Figure: The steps to calculate the district heating distribution costs are highlighted in the Toolchain above.

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Calculation of district heating distribution costs

For the representative cities/areas an economic assessment of district heating can be performed in order to gain more detailed insights on the costs and economic feasibility of district heating and the amount of heat potentially supplied by district heating in the areas. For this purpose the CM - District heating potential: economic assessment can be used. This module generates a map of potential district heating areas based on an assessment of the heat distribution costs. An analysis of the feasibility of district heating in the selected areas can be done as follows:

  • Adapt network construction costs according to experiences in your region / country of interest
  • Calculate the average heat distribution costs and district heating demands for different input parameters
  • Vary e.g. the following important influencing factors:
    • Heat savings over the analysis period
    • Market shares of district heating
    • The threshold for acceptable heat distribution costs
    • Network construction costs
    • Depreciation time and interest rate

The scenarios can be used to analyse the influence of the different factors on the heat distribution costs in district heating systems in the different representative cities/areas. For different settings of depreciation time and interest rate, one scenario of district heating expansion per representative city/area should be selected for further analysis. The outcomes of this step are the heat demand for district heating [GWh/yr] and the heat distribution costs [EUR/MWh] in each of the representative cities/areas. These results will then be used in the overall Scenario Assessment in Step 6.

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How to cite

Marcus Hummel, Giulia Conforto, in Hotmaps-Wiki, Guidelines for using the Hotmaps toolbox for analyses at local level (August 2020)

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Authors and reviewers

This page was written by Marcus Hummel and Giulia Conforto (e-think).

☑ This page was reviewed by Mostafa Fallahnejad (EEG - TU Wien).

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Copyright © 2016-2020: Marcus Hummel, Giulia Conforto

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 International License.

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0


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We would like to convey our deepest appreciation to the Horizon 2020 Hotmaps Project (Grant Agreement number 723677), which provided the funding to carry out the present investigation.

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