WS 7 – Community energy supply systems and district heating

Community Energy Supply Systems (an EBC Workshop – Program overview)

The EBC Workshop was organized with a link to the Conference theme and called Rethinking Urban Energy. With contributions from the IEA EBC 63 tasks (Implementing Energy Strategies in Communities) and 64 (Optimising Energy Systems with respect to Exergy).

The Central question was who is going to organize the effective scaling up of energy systems? In each country the Government plays various roles such as motivator (France), facilitator (Japan) or driver (Germany). A collaboration between Companies (Japan), Governments (Germany) and knowledge institutions (France) always seems to be a must because there usually involve a public-private business case. The Dutch approach to the “heat roundabout”, was seen as inspiring example. The necessity of the link to area development was a point of discussion. See for more information the presentations.

  • Overview of IEA EBC Annex 63 – Helmut Strasser – Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing (SIR)
  • How to integrate Energy in Urban Planning Processes – Andreas Koch –  European Institute for Energy Research
  • Stakeholder Engagement as a key in Planning Processes – Jens Freudenberg – German Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development
  • Overview of IEA EBC Annex 64  – Dietrich Schmidt – Fraunhofer IWES
  • Role of exergy in the development of sustainable energy districts – Sabine Jansen – TU-Delft
  • Heat pump introduction as core technologies in low-ex systems at different scales – F. Meggers – Princeton University – School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
  • Geo-solar district heating. A case study on an innovative heat supply concept – Anna Kallert – Fraunhofer IWES, Power-Heat-Systems Department

All presentations can be downloaded as ZIP file.

More information on the EBC Annex 63 and 64 can be found on the websites:

IEA EBC Annex 63: Implementation of Energy Strategies in Communities, has as objective to provide recommendations for the implementation of optimised energy strategies in communities. Therefore, existing national political framework conditions, energy and urban planning processes and measures from 11 countries were analysed and developed further with local, national and international stakeholder groups.

IEA EBC Annex 64 – LowEx Communities aims to demonstrate the potentials of low exergy thinking on a community level as energy and cost efficient solutions to achieve 100% renewable and GHG emission-free energy systems. Central challenges are the identification of promising and efficient technical solutions for practical implementation. Aspects of future network management and business models for distribution and operation are as well essential for successful implementation and will be covered in the working phase. Aspects of transition management and policy will ensure the feasibility.

Other Conferences

At the Clima 2016 a number of interesting presentations by participants in the Annex 64 on this topic were held:

All other conference papers from this REHVA Conference CLIMA 2016 can also be downloaded.

The Challenge

Communities are characterised by a wide range of heating and cooling energy demands. This energy is mainly provided by the combustion of fossil fuels, which is responsible for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While much has already been achieved, there are still large potentials in providing heating and cooling energy with lower or without CO2 emissions. At the community level, different renewable sources are available that do not involve combustion processes. These energies are often characterised by high fluctuations and different exergy levels or ‘qualities’: e.g. electricity (high-exergy) from photovoltaics or low temperature (low-exergy) heat from solar energy or waste heat. Low energy qualities are of particular interest, because they can supply most heating and cooling demands very efficiently. Exergy calculation still is a major challenge nevertheless. To identify potential savings and synergies holistic analysis of energy flows is necessary. The application of exergy principles is especially important, allowing the detection of different available energy quality levels and the identification of optimal contribution to an efficient supply. From this, appropriate strategies and technologies with great potential for the use of low valued energy sources (LowEx) and a high share of renewable energies for heating and cooling of entire cities can be derived. In the framework of the EBC advanced technologies will be adapted and further developed to realise the identified potentials. An additional task is to develop and test appropriate business models for the implementation on energy systems based on low exergy principles.