District heating is a safe and reliable form of heating that provides resource efficient, low CO2-emitting solutions. It is often produced in combination with electricity, which reduces environmental impact.
District heating is produced in one or several central production facilities and distributed to various buildings through underground pipes. Industry excess heat from electricity generation, other industries and waste incineration is used in district heating.
Thinking in districts has a strong interconnection to thinking in highly efficient district heating: In urban areas, climate-neutral district concepts rather than single-building approaches would provide an optimal contribution to decarbonisation and sustainability targets.
Dominant heating method in Nordic countries
The position of district heating on the heating market varies between countries, based on traditional differences and infrastructure design. In parts of northern and eastern Europe, approximately 50 per cent of all households are currently heated by district heating. It is the dominant heating method in all Nordic countries, except Norway, and is prominent in Germany and the Netherlands.
District heating distribution
A variety of energy sources – including biomass, waste and natural gas – can be used as fuel in a district heating plant. Biomass is used in the above illustration as an example.