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ENERGY CITIES' PROPOSALS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION OF CITIES AND TOWNS

2.3 Prepare a local heat plan to match need and available resource
Knowing our territories’ resources and flows

The problem at hand

We need more heat and cooling than electricity although we paradoxically attach more importance to the latter. All buildings have heating and/or cooling requirements and heat sources are often available nearby. These can take many forms: power plant, combined heat and power unit, waste incineration plant, free industrial heat, wastewater, refrigerating units, data centres, surplus capacities from biomass boilers, etc. There are also low temperature heat sources that can be used for cooling, like rivers, lakes and seas.
There is often no relation between supply and demand. Why is that so? Is it due to a lack of information, to differing legal entities or are solutions considered as too complex? We use energy to produce heat whereas heat sources are wasted nearby.
Such a situation is no longer acceptable in a world that is putting energy abundance behind it.

Proposal

Prepare a local heat plan, listing and locating all heating and cooling requirements and surplus resource potential in the territory.
This spatial inventory will be part of the sustainable energy action plan (SEAP) and aims to eliminate heat wastage by making use of currently unused heat sources. The plan may introduce an obligation to inform municipal services when applying for planning permission.

Conditions for success

  • Considering the exploitation of unused heat sources as an opportunity rather than a constraint.

  • Communicating on available heat sources, both in terms of quantities and quality.

  • Influencing, through urban-planning documents, the location of any new installation generating excess heat so that it is as close as possible to demand   areas. And vice-versa.

  • Facilitating the relation between heat suppliers and users.


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