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District heating

District heating has many economic and environmental benefits. It is a flexible system that can both make use of waste heat and manage variations in electricity production and usage.

Flexible, fossil-free heating systems of the future

District heating is an efficient method for large-scale heating, that has both economic and environmental benefits. Through systems of pipes, heat from heating plants and cogeneration plants is distributed to large areas of residential housing and commercial properties. Outside Sweden, it is most common that the generated heat comes from the combustion of fossil fuels, but the climate crisis and increased energy demand have increasingly shifted focus to fossil-free fuel sources.

More efficient energy use, and new solutions

A large proportion of Sweden's residential and commercial properties are heated by fossil-free district heating, which has many economic and environmental advantages. IVL works with several project in the area of district heating, in order to make the current use more efficient, and to find new and sustainable ways to develop the district heating system.

Our experts provide assistance to the energy sector by way of systems analyses, sustainability assessment and climate calculations, in order to develop different system solutions.

Examples of IVL's work with district heating

En stad full av människor

Reuseheat: Cities heat themselves

A heating system that can make use of heat generated by people in a city – that's a piece in the puzzle of building a smart city. Reuseheat will demonstrate scalable systems for reusing unused heat flows in urban environments.

Read more about the Reuseheat project

fjärrvärme, installation ledningssystem

OptiHeat: optimized heat for areas with low-energy buildings

This project investigates four important heating technologies in areas with low-energy buildings, and their impact on costs and design of energy systems in the long term, and at the local and national levels.

Read more about the OptiHeat project

Image of the riverfront in Kungsbacka, outside of Gothenburg Sweden. A bridge crossing a small river with a few boats docked by the side.  Houses on the right of the bridge and a road to the left.

Reference case: Fourth generation district heating in Kungsbacka

Eksta Bostads AB, a municipally-owned housing company, has a keen interest in sustainability and alternative energy sources. Together with IVL, they investigated district heating that uses heating sources with lower temperatures.

Read more about the project in Kungsbacka

Pappersmassabruk i Frankrike.

SoWhat: European collaboration on waste heat

Industrial waste heat is currently used very little in Europe. In a report for the EU project SoWhat, IVL has described the drivers for establishing more collaborations between businesses and industries.

Read more about the SoWhat project

En industri och rök

Flexi-Sync: Flexible systems for heating and cooling

The Flexi-Sync project makes the heating sector more flexible, so it can meet challenges with more varied production and use of electricity. The project is a collaboration between 16 European partners, and its aim is to identify how flexibility can be optimized in the district heating and district cooling sector.

Read more about the Flexi-Sync project

180320 IVLKristina Lygnerud 180320 IVL 180320 IVLKristina Lygnerud

Book navigates the district heating technologies of the future

Reduced temperatures in buildings' heating systems can deliver several environmental benefits. In a book published in 2021, IVL presents the principal drivers for low-temperature district heating.