Utilization of excess heat for district heating in the future Danish energy system

Petrovic, S. (Speaker), Fabian Bühler (Guest lecturer), Simonsen, M. B. (Guest lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Significant part of the future heating demand in Denmark is expected to be supplied by district heating. Traditional district heating based on coal and natural gas CHPs cannot be a suitable solution in the future renewable energy system. However, low costs for the final consumers, low environmental impact, high efficiency and high reliability should be maintained. This paper analyses how much excess heat from industries and production of biofuels can contribute to district heating in the future.
The analysis is performed by TIMES-DK model until 2050. TIMES-DK is the only full-foresight optimisation model covering all sectors of the Danish energy system. The results show that around 65 % of residential heating demand is supplied by district heating in 2050. The production of district heating is mainly based on waste incinerations and large-scale heat pumps. Excess heat from bio-refineries and industries contributes to the production of district heating with 15% and 10 % in 2050, respectively and thus illustrate how important is to integrate power and heat, industrial and fuel production sectors. Excess heat can contribute to future production of district heating, but cannot be the dominating source.
The results also show that the industrial excess heat is not equally important all over Denmark – it mostly contributes to production of district heating in Central areas of West Denmark. Around one half of excess heat can be sent directly to district heating networks, while the other half requires heat pumps. Even with heat pumps, utilisation of industrial excess heat remains cost-effective from the energy system perspective.
Even when excess heat from industries is disabled in model, district heating still supplies large portions of the heating demand, while the total system costs slightly increase. The price of excess heat and efficiency improvements in industries don't have a significant impact on the optimal solution.
Period4 Oct 2017 - 8 Oct 2017
Held at12th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems – SDEWES Conference
Event typeConference
LocationDubrovnik, Croatia
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • District heating
  • Excess heat
  • biofuels
  • industries
  • future energy system
  • demand and supply
  • energy system planning