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Transformation of existing urban district heating and cooling systems from fossil to renewable energy sources

Project description

Heating and cooling in the age of renewable energy

The renewable transformation of heating and cooling is underway but requires innovative next-generation policies. Currently, renewables are estimated to serve just 10 % of the thermal energy demand. The implementation of district heating and cooling (DHC) systems based on renewable energy sources (RES) is a solution that is spreading, particularly among small communities in search of energy independence. The solution is based on the idea of using local heating and cooling sources that under normal circumstances would have been lost. The EU-funded RES-DHC project will develop the solutions and instruments needed to implement the EU Renewable Energy Directive II (2018/2001), which requires a yearly increase of RES in DHC by 1 %. The project will assist in the transformation of existing urban DHC systems in six countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, France and Switzerland.


RES-DHC stands for a wider introduction of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in the District Heating and Cooling (DHC) sector. The RES-DHC project addresses the manifold market uptake challenges related to the transformation of DHC systems to higher shares of RES. In particular it aims at the development of solutions and instruments which support policy and sector stakeholders in (over-)fulfilling Art. 24 of the Renewable Energy Directive II (directive 2018/2001), requiring a yearly increase of RES in DHC by 1%. The main objective of the RES-DHC project is to support the transformation of existing urban DHC systems to RES in six participating regions and thereby to derive - from these practical cases - technical and organizational solutions for such transformation processes. This is reached with two key approaches: A vertical pillar of the project is a close-to-market implementation process of concrete actions and measures by regional stakeholder consortia in the six regions (in DE, AT, IT, PL, FR and CH). The phases of this implementation process are 1) strategy and action planning based on local stakeholder consultation 2) an implementation phase starting already at an early stage of the project including capacity building, legal framework improvements, market support, and triggering investments in RES DHC. Technical enablers are, beside RES, also sector coupling and the use of low grade heat sources. A key horizontal beam of the project is to organize and give transnational support to the regional stakeholder consortia. This support is provided by an international team of expert partners with specific and complementary competences and coordinated by Danish experts. The specific actions of the RES-DHC project meet the market uptake challenges of this call to a great extent, e.g.: Introduction of RES at large scale, stakeholder engagement, assessment of legal and political frameworks and of the environmental, economic and social impact of RES DHC solutions.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 346 490,00
70599 Stuttgart

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Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Stuttgart, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 346 490,00

Participants (16)