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Merging of energy and environmental analyses for district heating systems


  • Torchio, Marco F.
  • Genon, Giuseppe
  • Poggio, Alberto
  • Poggio, Marco


District heating (DH) systems, together with combined heat and power (CHP) plants, have been increasing both in number and interest over the last decade, but the environmental improvements are still controversial, because although there is usually a reduction in CO2 emissions, a positive effect concerning other pollutants is not always certain. A limited number of works that pay particular attention to the local environmental effect due to DH plants have been found in a brief overview of DH papers. The energetic and environmental impact of a new DH+CHP plant has been investigated in the present paper, where this plant has been proposed to substitute the existing heating systems. The environmental aspects concerning the local variations due to some pollutants, such as sulfur oxides (SOx), particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), are in particular taken into account. The main data necessary for the analysis and the hypotheses that are useful to simulate the behavior of the local heating plant and DH plants (e.g. efficiency, the heating demand, etc.) are discussed. A dispersion model (Gaussian model) has been used to evaluate the effect at a local scale. Finally, a case study concerning a new DH+CHP plant in Northern Italy is presented and discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Torchio, Marco F. & Genon, Giuseppe & Poggio, Alberto & Poggio, Marco, 2009. "Merging of energy and environmental analyses for district heating systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 220-227.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:34:y:2009:i:3:p:220-227
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Park, Sun-Young & Lee, Kyoung-Sil & Yoo, Seung-Hoon, 2016. "Economies of scale in the Korean district heating system: A variable cost function approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 197-203.
    2. Sayegh, M.A. & Danielewicz, J. & Nannou, T. & Miniewicz, M. & Jadwiszczak, P. & Piekarska, K. & Jouhara, H., 2017. "Trends of European research and development in district heating technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P2), pages 1183-1192.
    3. Beretta, Gian Paolo & Iora, Paolo & Ghoniem, Ahmed F., 2012. "Novel approach for fair allocation of primary energy consumption among cogenerated energy-intensive products based on the actual local area production scenario," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1107-1120.
    4. Jalilinasrabady, Saeid & Palsson, Halldor & Saevarsdottir, Gudrun & Itoi, Ryuichi & Valdimarsson, Pall, 2013. "Experimental and CFD simulation of heat efficiency improvement in geothermal spas," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 124-134.
    5. Agha, Mujtaba H. & Thery, Raphaele & Hetreux, Gilles & Hait, Alain & Le Lann, Jean Marc, 2010. "Integrated production and utility system approach for optimizing industrial unit operations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 611-627.
    6. repec:eee:energy:v:129:y:2017:i:c:p:70-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Panepinto, Deborah & Fiore, Silvia & Zappone, Mariantonia & Genon, Giuseppe & Meucci, Lorenza, 2016. "Evaluation of the energy efficiency of a large wastewater treatment plant in Italy," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 404-411.
    8. Marco F. Torchio, 2013. "Energy-Exergy, Environmental and Economic Criteria in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plants: Indexes for the Evaluation of the Cogeneration Potential," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(5), pages 1-23, May.
    9. Li, Yan & Fu, Lin & Zhang, Shigang & Zhao, Xiling, 2011. "A new type of district heating system based on distributed absorption heat pumps," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 4570-4576.
    10. Thollander, P. & Svensson, I.L. & Trygg, L., 2010. "Analyzing variables for district heating collaborations between energy utilities and industries," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 3649-3656.
    11. Dobos, László & Abonyi, János, 2011. "Controller tuning of district heating networks using experiment design techniques," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 4633-4639.
    12. Klaassen, R.E. & Patel, M.K., 2013. "District heating in the Netherlands today: A techno-economic assessment for NGCC-CHP (Natural Gas Combined Cycle combined heat and power)," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 63-73.
    13. Kaliatka, A. & Valinčius, M., 2012. "Modeling of pipe break accident in a district heating system using RELAP5 computer code," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 813-819.
    14. Mancarella, Pierluigi, 2014. "MES (multi-energy systems): An overview of concepts and evaluation models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 1-17.
    15. Capuder, Tomislav & Mancarella, Pierluigi, 2014. "Techno-economic and environmental modelling and optimization of flexible distributed multi-generation options," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 516-533.
    16. Colmenar-Santos, Antonio & Rosales-Asensio, Enrique & Borge-Diez, David & Collado-Fernández, Eduardo, 2016. "Evaluation of the cost of using power plant reject heat in low-temperature district heating and cooling networks," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 892-907.
    17. Buonocore, Elvira & Franzese, Pier Paolo & Ulgiati, Sergio, 2012. "Assessing the environmental performance and sustainability of bioenergy production in Sweden: A life cycle assessment perspective," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 69-78.
    18. Jie, Pengfei & Tian, Zhe & Yuan, Shanshan & Zhu, Neng, 2012. "Modeling the dynamic characteristics of a district heating network," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 126-134.
    19. Lund, H. & Möller, B. & Mathiesen, B.V. & Dyrelund, A., 2010. "The role of district heating in future renewable energy systems," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1381-1390.
    20. repec:eee:appene:v:205:y:2017:i:c:p:345-368 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Xu, Xin & You, Shijun & Zheng, Xuejing & Li, Han, 2014. "A survey of district heating systems in the heating regions of northern China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 909-925.
    22. repec:eee:energy:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:310-322 is not listed on IDEAS


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