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Decarbonization pathways for district heating grids
Leipzig University supports the decision making of LSW by a model-based analysis. The overall aim is to find pathways for increasing the district heating supply in “Leipzig West” and the share of renewable energies and use of waste heat in Leipzig district heating system in the future.
Challenge / Goal
Finding innovative system solutions for sustainable municipalities is important to reach the national and local targets for decarbonisation to tackle climate change. The identification of such strategies, particularly for the desing of PEDs, is challenging for the decision maker since a variety of factors that point to the trends need to be taken into consideration. This applies amongst other things for the current business portfolio, the technological progress, the actor base, the regulatory framework as well as the market status. Given the complexity of this environment, system inter-dependencies and interactions between different alternatives need to be considered to systematically develop suitable strategies. In oder to prevent stranded investments in the energy infrastructure, the planning process should comprise relevant scenarios for highly uncertain impact factors.
The techno-economic mathematical optimization framework IRPopt (Integrated Resource Planning and Optimization) supports decision makers of municipal energy utilities as well as the public administration regarding future portfolio management. IRPopt was calibrated and applied to develope an expansion concept for district heating in “Leipzig West”. In a first step, we determined the future generation portfolio based on the mid-term strategy of the utility comprising, e.g., a coal phase-out and newly built low-carbon technologies. The integration of alternative heating solutions in the district heating system is examined and evaluated with respect to levelized cost and CO2 emissions. These indicators also serve as a basis to be compared to stand-alone heating solutions in the district. Secondly, we extended the analysis for additional districts in terms of a replication strategy. The aim is to increase the district heating supply in “Leipzig West” and the share of renewable energies and use of waste heat in the district heating system.
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