District Heating Networks: A sustainable solution

A genuine city-scale central heating system, district heating networks supply heat via a pre-insulated piping network to buildings for private, public or industrial use, in order to meet users’ requirements for heating and collective domestic hot water.

These district heating networks today form an integral part of planning policy both in urban and rural areas, thanks to the wealth of advantages it offers:

  • Flexibility and energy efficiency : Whether fossil, renewable or recovered energy, district heating networks have the advantage of being able to use all types of energy thanks to the flexibility of supply from the central boiler plants. Furthermore, the centralisation of energy production ensures better yield than for individual boilers or traditional collective heating systems.

  • An economic solution: Faced with the increase in the price of conventional resources (coal, gas, fuel oil), and the increase in demand, the use of multi-energy districting heating networks would appear to be the best solution for optimising yield, limiting costs and improving competitiveness.

  • Simplicity and security:The simplicity of the district heating network is due to the centralisation of supply and maintenance, thus facilitating the maintenance of the distribution network. The energy contained in the hot water or steam is then transported via the pre-insulated pipe network to the building sub-stations. The latter do not have to be equipped with a chimney stack or boiler and do not need to store fuel thus improving the comfort and safety of users.

  • Low environmental impact: Promoted by the round table on the environment , district heating networks today constitute a key vector for increasing the use of renewable (biomass, geothermal etc.), and recovered energy (cogeneration, household waste incineration etc.) and thereby contribute to limiting air pollution in urban areas. Furthermore, the central plants produce energy in very close proximity to the sites of consumption which limits energy loss.