100% RE Districts

Chair of HWG: Sabine Putz, SOLID

Vice-chair: Giorgio Bonvicini, RINA Consulting

Members of the HWG: 40 selected members


Name of the HWG: 100% RE Districts

Duration: Ongoing

Objectives / goals

Heating & cooling and hot water preparation account for over half of the energy demand in buildings. Paired with an increasing urbanization rate, this demand defines one of the key challenges of the energy transition in Europe (and beyond): How to decarbonize heating & cooling in urban districts?

This overarching challenge is actually a cluster of challenges, e.g.:

  • Refurbishment rates of buildings and replacement rates of fossil fuel heaters are low
  • Fossil fuel prices are low
  • Space for harvesting and storing locally available energy is sometimes scarce
  • Ownership structures are often highly diverse and responsibilities unclear

At the same time, urban districts come with a number of opportunities:

  • Dense population allows for the use of community schemes such as DHC
  • DHC allows for harvesting of locally available otherwise unused sources
  • Where DHC is not possible other technologies can fill the gap, hybrid solutions are possible, too
  • Cities and municipal companies as well as large building owners can take the necessary steps
  • The HWG is tasked with the development of a roadmap supporting the decarbonization of urban districts across Europe. On top a vision for 2050 is prepared and all results communicated towards policy-makers in the form of a briefing.

Actions / description of methodology

The group works in close collaboration with the other HWGs and more specifically on the following topics:

  • New district heating systems
  • Refurbishment of existing district heating systems
  • Urban sources for heating & cooling
  • Individual heating solutions for urban use
  • District cooling and individual cooling solutions for urban use
  • Measures on the secondary side to support the roll-out of RES H&C solutions
  • Toolboxes and stakeholder support
  • Policy developments
  • Economics and markets of and for RES DHC

The HWG meets regularly via web meetings, and physical meetings.

Timeline / Milestones

  • 2019: District contribution to 2050 Vision, including case studies
  • 2020: District contribution to Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda
  • 2021: District contribution to Implementation Roadmap