State of play of district heating and cooling in Europe

District heating and cooling can represent an interesting opportunity as part of the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector.  A study takes stock of existing networks in Europe and their possible development. 

The European association Euroheat & Power published last month a report entitled DHC Market Outlook 2023*: state of play 2023 of the district heating and cooling market. 
According to the report, the main benefit of district heating and cooling is to limit the use of fossil fuels. According to the study, 43% of district heating in Europe comes from renewable energy sources.  
Many statistics are provided in the document. 
The survey identified almost 190,000 kilometers of district heating network corresponding to a total of 17,000 heating networks with a total capacity of around 300 GWth. More than 70 million European citizens are connected to a district heating or cooling network. The report shows that district heating is more prevalent in northern and eastern Europe, and there is room to continue to increase its share. 
The report also contains more specific data on district cooling: it recalls that cooling needs represent a very high energy demand: the STEPS scenario (keeping current policy 

options) of the International Energy Agency forecasts an additional 2,800 TWh on a global scale for the cooling of premises by 2050. District cooling networks could represent a good alternative to conventional air conditioning units. 


District cooling networks represent 1358 kilometers of network in Europe, 70% of which are in Sweden, France and Finland. 
Euroheat & Power estimates that in Sweden, district cooling should reach a 25% market share by 2030. In France, the length of the Parisian network should double in the next 20 years. Finally, in Austria, district cooling sales have increased sevenfold since 2009. In Vienna, the operator plans to double the network by 2030. 
New projects are also emerging in southern Europe. In Barcelona, ​​a network should use the residual cold losses from the regasification of LNG. By November 2023, this new capacity of 18 MW should be added to the existing production fleet. This system will be the first district cooling network in the world to recover surplus cold from an LNG terminal. 


For more information, see the press release*.  Please contact Euroheat & Power to access the complete report.

For a general overview, have a look at the DHC Market Outlook Insight and Trends.**