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Optimisation of a Swedish district heating system with reduced heat demand due to energy efficiency measures in residential buildings
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Physics.
2011 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, Vol. 39, no 12, 7839-7852 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development towards more energy efficient buildings, as well as the expansion of district heating (DH) networks, is generally considered to reduce environmental impact. But the combined effect of these two progressions is more controversial. A reduced heat demand (HD) due to higher energy efficiency in buildings might hamper co-production of electricity and DH. In Sweden, co-produced electricity is normally considered to displace electricity from less efficient European condensing power plants. In this study, a potential HD reduction due to energy efficiency measures in the existing building stock in the Swedish city Linkoping is calculated. The impact of HD reduction on heat and electricity production in the Linkoping DH system is investigated by using the energy system optimisation model MODEST. Energy efficiency measures in buildings reduce seasonal HD variations. Model results show that HD reductions primarily decrease heat-only production. The electricity-to-heat output ratio for the system is increased for HD reductions up to 30%. Local and global CO(2) emissions are reduced. If co-produced electricity replaces electricity from coal-fired condensing power plants, a 20% HD reduction is optimal for decreasing global CO(2) emissions in the analysed DH system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 39, no 12, 7839-7852 p.
Keyword [en]
Low-energy residential buildings, District heating, Energy efficiency measures
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-169246DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.09.031ISI: 000298363400036OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-169246DiVA: diva2:505916
Available from: 2012-02-27 Created: 2012-02-24 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. System Effects of Improved Energy Efficiency in Swedish District-Heated Buildings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>System Effects of Improved Energy Efficiency in Swedish District-Heated Buildings
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To alleviate global warming, European-Union member states must reduce primary energy use, emit less carbon dioxide (CO2), and increase renewable energy use. Buildings constitute a great potential for energy savings, but saving energy in district-heated buildings influences combined heat and power (CHP) production, other electricity generation, and global CO2 emissions.


This thesis investigates the system effects from Swedish district heating production caused by district heating demand changes due to energy conservation in buildings. The cost-optimising linear programming modelling tools MODEST and FMS, the latter developed in the context of this thesis, are used to describe present district heating production and to investigate the impact of heat-demand reductions in twelve Swedish district heating systems, four of them representing all Swedish district heating.


Energy savings in district-heated, multi-family residential buildings yield a lower, more seasonally levelled district heating demand. These demand changes mainly reduce use of fossil-fuel and biomass for heat production. CHP production is significantly reduced if it supplies intermediate or peak district heating load. The αsystem value (ratio between generated CHP electricity and produced district heating) increases by demand reductions if CHP mainly supplies base district heating load. CO2 emissions due to district heat production depend on the approach used for CO2 assessment of electricity, and are generally reduced with heat demand reductions, unless the share of CHP production is large and the reduced fuel use yields smaller emission reductions than the emission increase from power production that replaces reduced CHP generation.


In total, heat demand reductions reduce CO2 emissions due to Swedish district heating, and the district heating systems even constitute a carbon sink at certain energy conservation levels. If saved biomass replaces fossil fuels elsewhere, a lower heat demand reduces CO2 emissions for every studied district heating system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 91 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1161
district heating, carbon dioxide emissions, building energy efficiency, combined heat and power
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Engineering Science
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229477 (URN)978-91-554-8996-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Häggsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-09-17 Created: 2014-08-08 Last updated: 2015-01-22

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