Coming In From The Cold: Improving District Heating Policy by Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development

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This chapter also looks at how three groups of countries diverge. 3 It is important to note that this grouping of countries is somewhat arbitrary as it is based as much on climatic characteristics as on district heating policy elements. Some countries discussed within one group may have certain features common to other groups. We briefly mention this when there are significant differences. What is clear is that each country can learn from its neighbours’ experiences. It is also important to consider that this chapter focuses primarily on the difficulties facing district heating and thus is not intended to provide a balanced overall picture of how district heating works in the region.

Transition economies tend to have a relatively low share of cogeneration in their heat balances compared to the OECD average. This represents a missed opportunity to reduce emissions and cost. In Central Europe, cogeneration accounts for 50 to 75% of total heat production, while in the former Soviet Union (FSU), this figure is just 30 to 50%. Industrial processes like glass production can also be valuable sources of heat for district heating. While there are many examples of industrial waste heat recovery in transition economies, there is a large opportunity for growth.

2 Large District Heating Systems Globally (in petajoules, PJ) City Sales Moscow 281 St. ; Russia in particular has additional large systems that were not included because of lack of data. Source: Sven Werner, FVB District Energy. properly managed, as it is in Scandinavia and other OECD regions. For industrial consumers, district heating allows them to buy heat without the capital and operating costs of an on-site plant. In addition, as district cooling grows, district energy systems can provide an inexpensive and efficient alternative to electric air-conditioners.

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