Did you know…
There is enough ‘Excess Heat’ in Dublin to replace All of the natural gas that is currently used for heating the buildings in the city
District heating can capture this excess heat and bring to the buildings nearby, thus replacing imported fossil fuels with a local and sustainable, heat supply.
This is why district heating is so important for the future of the Irish energy system and the Irish District Energy Association (IDEA) is here to make it happen.
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IDEA was founded by Dr. David Connolly, who is leading one of the most influential EU projects in the district heating sector at present: Heat Roadmap Europe (www.heatroadmap.eu). The aim of the association is to support and promote district heating and cooling in Ireland, based on the huge potential identified for the country from the scientific analyses taking place in Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE). For example, one of the peer-reviewed studies in HRE identified Dublin and Cork as some of the best places in Europe to implemented district heating based on:
- The size of the heat deamand
- Location of suitable heat suppliers nearby
District Heating Potential in Ireland
More detailed studies in Ireland have verified the huge potential for district heating, such as:
- Codema’s Heat Mapping for Dublin, 2015
- Codema and IrBEA’s analysis of various local district heating networks in Kerry, Meath, and Galway, 2016
- Research Study concluding the district heating is cheaper than gas in Dublin, 2016
- Positive Economic Feasibility of District Heating in Tallaght, 2016
Basics of District Energy
District energy delivers heat/cold to the final consumer via water in a series of pipes. Ireland has a very small cooling demand, so district heating will most likely be the first form of large-scale district energy in Ireland: although Finland and Sweden currently have some of Europe’s largest district cooling networks, so climate can be deceptive of potential.
By using water as the ‘transfer medium’, district heating can accommodate a wide variety of heat suppliers, in the same way that the electricity grid can accommodate many different electricity suppliers. For example, district heating heat suppliers include:
- Power Plants
- Waste Incinerators
- Solar Thermal Plants
- Geothermal Plants
- Biomass Plants (e.g. biomass gasification and biogas)
- Large-Scale Heat Pumps (driven by wind and solar electricity)
- Large electric boilers (driven by wind and solar electricity)
District heating technology has existed for over 100 years, so there is a wide range of material that explains the concept. Below is a collection of literature and videos you can follow if you would like to know more about it.
- A Guide to District Heating in Ireland, 2016
- District Energy Explained, Euroheat & Power (European District Energy Asscoiation)
- Basics of District Energy, International District Energy Association
Basic of District Heating and Cooling
Role of District Heating in the Future Energy System
Using District Heating to Integrate More Wind and Solar Energy