Urban Sustainability: Recovering and Utilizing Urban Excess Heat

Urban heat sources from urban infrastructure and buildings could meet ~10% of theEuropean building heating demand.

There is, however, limited information on how to use them. The EU project ReUseHeat has generated much of the existing knowledge on urban waste heat recovery implementation. Heat recovery from a data center, hospital and from water were demonstrated. Additionally, the project generated knowledge of stakeholders, risk profile, bankability and business models.

The recovery of urban waste heat is characterized by high potential, high competitiveness compared to other heating alternatives, high avoidance of GHG emissions, payback within three years and low utilization. These characteristics reveal that barriers for increased utilization exist.

The barriers are not technical. Instead, the absence of a waste heat EU level policy adds risk. Other showstoppers are low knowledge on the urban waste heat opportunity and new stakeholder relationships being needed for successful recovery.

By combining key results and lessons learned from the project this article outlines the frontier of urban waste heat recovery research and practicein 2022.

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Last updated: 2023-02-24

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.


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