On the EU level, the regulatory framework for district energy is set by EU directives and other documents such as the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU, Energy Roadmap 2050 (issued in December 2011) or the Energy Efficiency Plan from March 2011. The paper elaborates on the impact of the EED on the district cooling business with examples from Italy and the UK. Furthermore, regulatory barriers and practices are examined in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Austria, and the UK.
The last chapter is devoted to recommendations on regulations for further advancing of district cooling such as:
a. Free market without regulations / b. Level playing field for subsidies on the energy market / c. CO2 tax /d. Primary energy use / e. SEAP positive initiative /f. Support on feasibility studies
For developing your appetite for reading the report, please consider following statements (excerpts from the Report):
Sweden: During the period from 1995 to 2010 the supply of district heating has increased from 42 to 55 TWh in Sweden. All district cooling systems already established were done by energy companies that already operate district heating systems in the cities.
Denmark: Energy companies are subject to strict price regulation (Heat Supply Act) in the form of non-profit principle.
Germany: The CHP Act (KWKG) in its amendments made district cooling networks and storages eligible for the financial support under the same conditions that are applied for district heating networks and heat storages.
Finland: Primary energy factors, set from a political point of view, make at the moment district heat and heat pumps equally right solutions when considering a building construction.
France: In Paris, the provisions of the urban regulation ensure that the beautiful façades of historical buildings in the city centre are preserved by posing constraints and limitations to the installations of individual air conditioning systems and thus indirectly supporting the development of district cooling.
Italy: The main barrier on developing district cooling is the lack of companies with enough financial strength and ability to raise attractive capital.
Austria: Fernwärme Wien, for example, uses a variety of energy strategy documents which support the expansion of the DC business. The energy strategy documents are of a general nature but all have successfully been used for the communication while expanding the district cooling.
UK: Merton Rule, adopted in 2003, was a ground breaking policy, which required new developments to generate at least 10 % of their energy needs from on-site renewable energy equipment to help reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions. District cooling has the potential to make a significant contribution to the 10% renewable energy goal.
Your RESCUE Team from Sweden and Germany
At the end of the project, we prepared 8 questions for you with (at least) one or more correct answers. You can find them on the page 3 of the 4th Newsletter.
1.What is the difference between District cooling (DC) pipes and district heating (DH) pipes.
A. None, both can be used in any district energy system B. Plastic coating of DH pipes is coloured black and the coating of DC pipes dark-blue C. The return pipe of district cooling pipe does not have to be insulated D. DC pipes are normally smaller and thus profitable to be built for long distances
2.The paradox Nr. 1. There are more district cooling systems in Northern Europe than in the Southern part. Why is it so?
A.Southern countries have less experience with district energy systems and thus less courage to start a district cooling system. B.Not only outdoor temperature matters but the human activity inside the buildings (base load). C.Heat island effect does not apply to Southern Europe D.Higher outdoor summer temperature makes local systems work better than centralized ones
3.The definition of natural cooling:
A.Respecting the principles of nudism during hot summers B.Utilizing cold water from lakes, rivers, seas via heat exchangers for producing the chilled water C.Producing the chilled water in accordance with laws on environment protection D.Trigeneration
4.Every district cooling system uses a mix of production technologies. Three main production technologies for district cooling are:
A. Absorption chillers, natural cooling, heat pumps B. Ice bank, snow making, freezers C. Natural cooling, absorption chillers, electric-driven chillers D. Fuel cells, cold water storages, natural cooling E.Photovoltaic, natural cooling, cogeneration
5.For developing a district cooling scheme, three key players are relevant: energy company, local authority and building owners. What is the role of local authority in general?
A. Setting the price for district cooling B. Including the concept of district cooling into Sustainable Energy Action Plans C. Decreasing cooling demand in city centres D. Issuing permissions for building a district cooling system E. Protecting historical architecture in the city centres by restricting the use of individual cooling devices
6.In almost every real chiller plant, delta-T falls well short of design levels. What are the consequences of too low temperature differentials (difference between supply and return temperature) which is typically limited to 8 – 11 C?
A. High pumping costs due to higher water volume necessary for providing the capacity B. The operator of the DC system may sue the authors of the pre-feasibility study C. There are no consequences at all D. Higher bills for DC customers if stated in the contract E. Increase in chilled water flow rate, the pipe becomes a bottle neck.
7.Which factor(s) does/do NOT affect cooling demand?
A. Relative humidity B. Number of overweight inhabitants occupying the building C. Outdoor temperature D. Size of the cooling devices within the building E. Human activity in the building
8.On the ownership of the DC system, please choose correct statement(s):
A. The best ownership model – city having its shares in the private company owning the system B. If the DC system is included in the Sustainable Energy Action Plan, the ownership shall be public. C. The success of the DC system is usually not affected by ownership issues D. No matter who owns the system, the municipality will always set the price for building owners E. A strong recommendation on the ownership issue is to be found in the feasibility study