District Energy in Cities

District Energy in Cities

Unlocking the Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy You do not have access to this content

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08 Feb 2016
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This guide collects and summarizes good practices on the successful mediation of resource conflicts. It draws on the field experiences of mediators and mediation experts, specifically those with natural resource expertise. It also features lessons learned from UNEP’s work on environmental diplomacy in different conflict-affected countries, with a particular focus on how to use impartial technical knowledge to equalize stakeholder information in a mediation process.

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  • Foreword

    Cities have a central role to play in the transition to sustainable energy: as managers of interdependent services and utilities, they are uniquely placed to enable the integrated solutions necessary to rapidly advance both energy efficiency and renewable energy. One such integrated solution is the development of modern district energy systems.

  • Acknowledgements

    This report has been prepared by UNEP in collaboration with the Copenhagen Centre for Energy Efficiency (C2E2), ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and UN-Habitat. It is the first major publication of the Global District Energy in Cities Initiative and contributes to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform

  • Executive summary

    Paris has developed Europe’s first and largest district cooling network, part of which uses the Seine River for cooling. The Paris Urban Heating Company serves the equivalent of 500,000 households, including 50% of all social housing as well as all hospitals and 50% of public buildings, such as the Louvre Museum. The district heating network aims to use 60% renewable or recovered energy by 2020.

  • Background

    Modern district energy systems (DES) will enable Frankfurt to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. Through DES, the city will improve energy efficiency, be able to switch from fossil fuels, use waste heat and provide balancing for variable renewable energy sources.

  • Exploring the transition to modern district energy systems

    In Dubai, air conditioning represents 70% of electricity consumption. This led the city to develop the world’s largest district cooling network, which by 2030 will expand to meet 40% of the city’s cooling demand. District cooling is halving Dubai’s electricity use for cooling and also reducing its consumption of fresh water through use of treated sewage effluent.

  • A framework for city-level policies and strategies for district energy

    Tokyo is maximizing efficiency in its district energy systems through the use of waste incineration, waste heat from buildings and metro stations, heat pumps connected to local water sources and solar thermal. Land-use planning policies require developers of new areas to assess the opportunities for cost-effective modern district energy or to identify a cheaper next-available sustainable heat or cooling option.

  • Business models for district energy: A continuum from public to private

    The City of Vancouver, for the 2010 Winter Olympics, developed a publicly owned district heating utility that captures waste heat from sewage. The financial structuring of the project proved the commercial viability of district heating in Vancouver and has encouraged private sector development of district heating elsewhere in the city.

  • Realizing national objectives and full benefits of district energy

    In China, pollution penalties play an important role in driving the modernization of district energy systems, which currently meet 30% of heat demand. Anshan’s investment in a transmission line to integrate the city’s isolated boilers and to capture surplus waste heat is projected to have three-year payback period due to the avoided penalties on pollution and to a 1.2 million ton reduction in annual coal use.

  • The way forward: Deciding next steps to accelerate district energy

    An estimated 400 million people are expected to move to India’s urban centres by 2050, increasing cooling demand and putting strain on the power system. In Mumbai, an estimated 40% of the city’s electricity demand is for cooling. India is developing district cooling in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) as a replicable demonstration project.

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