District Energy Systems (DES)

District energy systems, DES, are centralized networks that supply heat or cold to multiple buildings in a certain urban area. Both, district heating and cooling cannot only be integrated with other municipal systems but help to boost the efficiency of these such as electric power generation, sewage treatment or waste among others. The existing synergies between the production of heat, cold and electricity have the potential to optimise and integrate these systems, enabling to:

  • Integration of larger shares of variable renewable power and/or low-carbon options
  • Mitigate local pollution
  • Waste-heat recovery
  • Phasing-out of harmful refrigerants
  • Reducing the primary energy consumption
  • Lower the installed capacity needed
  • Increase of energy efficiency
  • Implementation of policies and actions to influence the energy consumption by final consumers

The Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency provides a strong expertise in district energy solutions to cities, as a means of unlocking decentralised energy. In order to contribute to a greater sustainability and improve the liveability in cities our DES team support and coordinate activities on heating and cooling planning. We work on local capacity building, developing pre-assessment, pre-feasibility studies and quality control, as well as providing independent advice to the cities and engaging new members to take action. The final objective is to reach the investible district energy projects level and attracting finance.

Bitten and Mads Clausen Foundation has been supporting the work developed since in 2016 agreed to fund a ‘City Office’ based at the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency, in recognition of our role as global energy efficiency hub for SEforALL. The District Energy in Cities Initiative has grown strongly and reached out to more than 40 cities in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, with significant momentum towards new projects soon reaching procurement phase in Chile, India, Serbia and Morocco. The BMCF-funded team has been instrumental in achievement of these results through provision of technical oversight and strategic input to the work of local contractors.

Our portfolio covers different countries that present their own challenges:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Banja Luka
  • Chile
    Temuco, Concepción, Independencia, Coyhaique, Renca, Santiago de Chile, Coronel, Hualpén, Talcahuano, San Pedro de la Paz, Valdivia
  • China
    Xi’an + 4 cities
  • Egypt
    Cairo (Al Alamein)
  • India
    Amaravati, Thane, Pune, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Rajkot
  • Malaysia
    Johor
  • Mongolia
    Ulaanbaatar
  • Morocco
    Marrakech
  • Serbia
    Belgrade
  • Tunisia
    Tunis

The following projects are currently in this step:

  • 9 Rapid Assessments completed
  • 14 ongoing heat and cool plans
  • 1 National-level strategy roadmaps for heating and cooling
  • 2 completed investment plans
  • 4 Trainings in countries
  • 10 Publications on district energy

Get in touch

Zhuolun Chen

Senior Advisor

Phone: +45 45 33 53 16
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Romanas Savickas

Senior Advisor

Phone: +45 45 33 52 63
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Susana Adriana Paardekooper

Project Associate

Phone: +45 45 33 53 21
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Santiago Martinez Santaclara

Santiago Martinez Santaclara

Research Assistant

Phone: +45 45 33 53 13
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