District Heating Market: Overview

District energy systems provide heating and cooling to buildings, often in a neighborhood, downtown district, or campuses. These systems are powered from a central plant or a complex of distributed sources via a network of underground pipes. District heating is a system used for distributing heat over a span of area through system of insulated pipes for commercial and residential requirements such as water heating and space heating. The heat is mostly obtained through a cogeneration plant burning biomass or fossil fuels. Furthermore, heat pumps, solar heating, and geothermal heating are used in district heating. Waste heat from nuclear electricity can also be used in district heating. District heating systems are able to provide high efficiency and good pollution control than the locally operating boilers. District heating with combined heat and power (CHPDH) is one of the cheapest means of minimizing carbon emissions and has the lowest carbon emission of all the fossil generation plants.

District Heating Market: Trends & Demands

There were five different generations of district heating systems. Powered by coal, the first generation was a steam based system, which made use of concrete ducts. These were not very efficient. The second generation was powered by coal and oil, and the energy was transmitted through pressurized hot water as heat carrier. The third generation was powered by biomass, coal, and waste. Pre-insulated pipes were used for transmission. The fourth generation was powered by CHP plants, utilizing waste heat from industry, biomass power plants, and geothermal and solar thermal energy. The fifth generation was powered by remote fossil fuel power stations or renewable energy sources. The fifth generation is currently used in districting heating.

District heating offers advantages over the individual heating system. It is energy efficient, as simultaneous production of heat and electricity takes place in combined heat and power generation plants. This reduces the overall carbon emission. The surplus heat from industries can also be used in district heating, thus reducing the fuel cost. The district heating system may vary in size according to the installation. A system can be designed to cover entire city, a small village, or for limited number of dwellings. The usage of solar powered district heating is increasing on a large scale. Under this, solar panels are ground mounted.

District Heating Market: Key Segments

The global district heating market can be segmented based on heat source, application, plant type, and region. In terms of heat source, the district heating market can be classified into natural gas, renewable energy, coal, oil & petroleum products, and others. Based on application, the global district cooling market can be divided into residential, industrial, and commercial. In terms of plant type, the district heating market can be bifurcated into boilers and combined heat and power (CHP).

District Heating Market: Regional Outlook

In term of region, the global district heating market can be split into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period. It is anticipated to be followed by Europe. The market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a moderate pace during the forecast period. Latin America and Middle East & Africa are expected to account for a small share of the global district heating market in the near future.

District Heating Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global district heating market include Vattenfall AB, Fortum, Ramboll Group A/S, Danfoss, ENGIE, NRG Energy, Inc., Vital Energi Ltd., SHINRYO CORPORATION, Statkraft, FVB Energy Inc., LOGSTOR A/S, Kelag, ALFA LAVAL, Orsted, Enwave Energy Corporation, Keppel Corporation Limited, and STEAG GMBH.

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