Decarbonization of a district heating system with a combination of solar heat and bioenergy: A techno-economic case study in the Northern European context

Elina Mäki (Corresponding Author), Lotta Kannari, Ilkka Hannula, Jari Shemeikka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We study the role of solar heat in decarbonization of a Nordic district heating (DH) network, where most of the annual heat demand is satisfied with bioenergy. We use actual data from a Finnish municipality to create a dynamic model of the heating system with Apros® simulation software. With the help of modelling, we examine various decarbonization scenarios for the existing heating system, using different combinations solar thermal collectors, thermal energy storage (TES) and limitations on how and when solar heat can access the system. According to results, zero emissions during the summer can be achieved with annual solar share of 13.2% and at 44 €/MWh levelized cost of heat (LCoH), if the integration is supported by TES and a careful planning of solar heat integration. Our results show that a simple approach of pursuing for a maximal solar share does not necessarily lead to a reduction in carbon emission or in LCoH. In fact, aiming at higher solar shares of 15–25% in our case system, actually increase greenhouse gas emissions compared to the base case. This highlights the importance of focusing on emissions reductions instead of simple addition of renewable energy when DH utilities plan for solar heat investments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1174-1199
Number of pages26
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume175
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Bioenergy
  • Biomass
  • District heating
  • Energy production
  • Flexibility
  • Solar heat

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Decarbonization of a district heating system with a combination of solar heat and bioenergy: A techno-economic case study in the Northern European context'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this