Assessing the climate impact of district heating systems with combined heat and power production and industrial excess heat
2015 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, Vol. 86, 31-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Heat demand is a large contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the European Union (EU), as heat is largely produced using fossil fuel resources. Extended use of district heating (DH) could reduce climate impact, as DH systems can distribute heat produced in efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plants and industrial excess heat, thus utilising heat that would otherwise be wasted. The difficulty to estimate and compare GHG emissions from DH systems can however constitute an obstacle to an expanded implementation of DH. There are several methods for GHG emission assessments that may be used with varying assumptions and system boundaries. The aim of this paper is to illuminate how methodological choices affect the results of studies estimating GHG emissions from DH systems, and to suggest how awareness of this can be used to identify possibilities for GHG emission reductions. DH systems with CHP production and industrial excess heat are analysed and discussed in a systems approach. We apply different methods for allocating GHG emissions between products and combine them with different system boundaries. In addition, we discuss the impact of resource efficiency on GHG emissions, using the framework of industrial symbiosis (IS). We conclude that assessments of the climate impact of DH systems should take local conditions and requirements into account. In order for heat from CHP production and industrial excess heat to be comparable, heat should be considered a by-product regardless of its origin. That could also reveal opportunities for GHG emission reductions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 86, 31-39 p.
Systems analysis, District heating, Greenhouse gas emissions, Resource efficiency, Combined heat and power, Industrial excess heat
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114402DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.01.006ISI: 000351655000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-114402DiVA: diva2:789778
FunderSwedish Energy Agency
This paper was written under the auspices of the Energy Systems Programme, which is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. Dr Sandra Backlund, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, is gratefully acknowledged for valuable input to an early version of the paper. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments.2015-02-202015-02-202015-04-23