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Assessing the climate impact of district heating systems with combined heat and power production and industrial excess heat
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2015 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 86, 31-39 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
Systems analysis, District heating, Greenhouse gas emissions, Resource efficiency, Combined heat and power, Industrial excess heat
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114402DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2015.01.006ISI: 000351655000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-114402DiVA: diva2:789778
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

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.

Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04
In thesis
1. Sociotechnical system studies of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from energy and transport systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sociotechnical system studies of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from energy and transport systems
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is agreed that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy and transport systems must be reduced. Technical means exist to reduce GHG emissions from these sources. However, these emission-reduction measures are not implemented to a high enough degree. In this thesis, it is assumed that this is because the reduction of GHG emissions from energy and transport systems is a wicked problem. Unlike a tame problem, which has an unambiguous definition and a finite number of well-defined solutions, a wicked problem is difficult to define, and its solutions are often intertwined with the problem. The “wickedness” of a wicked problem lies in the extreme difficulty of solving the problem, rather than in the problem itself.

In this thesis, the wicked problem of reducing GHG emissions from energy and transport systems is studied by applying a sociotechnical systems approach to the introduction of renewable vehicle fuels, the production and use of biogas, the introduction of electric vehicles, and the sustainability of district heating. In addition, this thesis discusses how energy issues are approached in different contexts, and what implications different actions can have on GHG emissions. The analysis shows that a sociotechnical approach to energy systems analysis can offer insights with regard to how system boundaries are handled within GHG-emission assessments and energy and transport policy. By problematising the use of system boundaries in GHG-emission assessments, this thesis explains how attempts to reduce GHG emissions could add to the wicked problem of GHGemission reductions from energy and transport systems. GHG-emission assessments can give very different results depending on system boundaries. While these results can be used in attempts to solve this wicked problem, they can also contribute to complicating it. As solutions to wicked problems are mainly found in policy, the use of system boundaries in policy is studied. Results show that narrow system boundaries in energy and transport policy can hamper sustainable development of energy and transport systems. The use of wider system boundaries could facilitate approaches to solve the wicked problem of reducing GHG emissions from energy and transport systems by making the consequences and effects of policy actions more clearly visible.

Abstract [sv]

Det är välkänt att energi- och transportsystemens utsläpp av växthusgaser måste minska. Tekniska förutsättningar för att minska utsläppen av växthusgaser från användning av energi och transporter existerar. Ändå genomförs inte åtgärder för att minska utsläpp av växthusgaser i tillräcklig utsträckning. I föreliggande avhandling antas detta bero på att minskandet av utsläpp av växthusgaser från energi- och transportsystem är ett ’wicked problem’. Ett sådant problem är svårdefinierat och motståndskraftigt mot lösningar, eftersom lösningarna ofta är sammanflätade med problemet.

I avhandlingen studeras frågan om hur utsläpp av växthusgaser från energi- och transportsystem kan minska. Introduktion av förnybara drivmedel, produktion och användning av biogas, introduktion av elbilar, samt hållbarhet i fjärrvärmesystem är områden som studeras med hjälp av ett sociotekniskt angreppssätt. Detta innebär att teknik studeras som en integrerad del av samhället, där teknik både påverkar och påverkas av aktörer och sociala strukturer.

Analysen visar att ett sociotekniskt angreppssätt kan ge insikter om hur systemgränser hanteras inom energisystemforskning samt inom energi- och transportpolicy. Värderingar av växthusgasutsläpp, som utförs inom energisystemforskning, kan ge vitt skilda resultat beroende på hur det studerade systemet avgränsats. Resultaten kan användas i försök att minska utsläpp av växthusgaser från energi- och transportsystem, men detta kan leda till att problemet försvåras ytterligare. I avhandlingen förklaras detta genom problematisering av systemavgränsningar i värderingar av växthusgasutsläpp. Eftersom lösningar på ’wicked problems’ oftast återfinns inom policy, studeras även systemavgränsningar i policy. Det visas att snäva systemgränser inom energi- och transportpolicy kan hindra hållbar utveckling av energi- och transportsystem. Vidgade systemgränser skulle kunna underlätta ansatser att minska utsläpp av växthusgaser från energi och transportsystem genom att synliggöra konsekvenser och effekter av policyåtgärder.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 54 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1656
Keyword
Energy systems, transport systems, greenhouse gas emissions, energy policy, transport policy, sociotechnical systems analysis, wicked problem, Energisystem, transportsystem, växthusgasutsläpp, energipolicy, transportpolicy, socioteknisk systemanalys, wicked problem
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116685 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-116685 (DOI)978-91-7519-082-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-08, ACAS, hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-31 Created: 2015-03-31 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved

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