The world has changed since 2017: key political milestones like reducing by 2020 with 20% our CO2 emissions seem far behind, the possibility to stay below a 1.5 °C global warming increase is thinner than ever, and we are witnessing a drastic raise in energy access insecurities and prices. This is heavy!
However, since 2017, the RELaTED project has worked hard to prepare for the future. After 5 years of research and tests, we are ready to show our achievements. In a final workshop, the project partners presented their observations on technologies used in District Heating and Cooling, including Heat Pumps, Substations, and BILTST (Building Integrated for Low Temperature Solar Thermal Systems Technology) with glazed and unglazed solar thermal collectors. They included renewable energy sources such as solar, of course, but also heat waste reuse.
The event also brought proof that research can be profitable, based on the exploitation and business plans the partners prepared; economic feasibility is as important as scalability in research projects such as RELaTED. The work on the demonstration sites allowed us to visualise the application of technologies in their situation. Belgrade, Iurreta, Tartu, and Vinge all became indisputable stops on the Low-Temperature District Heating map (80/40 °C or lower), either by upgrading their District Heating systems for Low-Temperature or implementing one from scratch.
Guests participating in the final workshop included representatives from the European Commission with Eva Hoos (DG ENER) and Piero de Bonis (DG RTD), who shared more about the #REPowerEU initiative and the upcoming funding opportunities for developing further technologies relevant to District Heating. The discussion also featured representatives from the European Heat Pump Association and from EuroHeat & Power with whom partners could exchange challenges and solutions to reduce the degrees in District Heating. Because where we’re going, we do not need high temperatures.