Le potentiel inexploité des réseaux d'énergie urbains

Selon un récent rapport, une transition vers des réseaux d'énergie urbains (froid et chaleur) modernes pourrait contribuer à une réduction de 60% des émissions du secteur.
A transition to modern district energy systems could contribute to 60% of required energy sector emissions reduction by 2050, and reduce primary energy consumption by up to 50%, according to the new report “District Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy”launched by UNEP.

In particular, cooling demand is growing worldwide and spending on energy services is increasing. According to the IEA, energy consumption for space cooling increased 60% globally from 2000 to 2010, and is set to expand by 625% by 2050 in selected regions of Asia and Latin America.

Through an analysis of the 45 “champion cities”, the report finds that while contributions of district energy are significant and growing, the full potential of these systems remains largely untapped.

Several district cooling existing plants or projects, reflecting three different technologies (electric chillers, free cooling and absorption chillers driven from waste heat) are highlighted:

. In Doha, Qatar, the Integrated District Cooling Plant at The Pearl, powered by various chillers, is the largest of its type, with a capacity of 456 MW. The district cooling network in Paris uses electric chillers to produce much of the cooling. This has led to 90% less refrigerant emissions; 65% less water used; 50% less CO2 emissions; 35% less electricity used; and a 50% improvement in primary energy efficiency.

. Toronto’s district cooling system in Canada uses the new city water pipeline to extract cooling from deep in Lake Ontario with a cooling capacity of 263 MW, reducing electricity use for cooling by 90%. Port Louis, Mauritius, is developing a deep seawater cooling system that will take water from 1,000 metres below sea level to cool commercial building by 2016; this could reduce electricity demand for cooling by 65-80%.

. London’s new Olympic Park development utilizes a 4 MW absorption chiller in the tri-generation plant – supplemented by two 7 MW ammonia chillers – and is designed to produce 64 MW of cooling (up from 18 MW today). Pilot project in Velenje, Slovenia, utilizing absorption chiller technology from waste heat has achieved significant electricity savings relative to normal cooling technologies, at a production cost that is 70% that of normal cooling technologies.