Publication on 5th generation district heating and cooling networks in Germany
A new survey conducted by EBC shows the technical status of 5th generation district heating and cooling (5GDHC) networks in Germany. 5GDHC networks are a promising technology for decarbonizing the heating and cooling supply of buildings and districts and thus an important technology for the heat transition. To date, only a small number of 5GDHC networks have been built and this mainly in Switzerland and Germany. As a result, there are considerable uncertainties and knowledge gaps in the planning and operation of 5GDHC networks. As part of a survey of utilities and engineering companies, data on 53 networks in Germany were collected for publication, including technical, economic and political key figures and planning decisions.
The results show that 5GDHC networks are mostly planned for small new districts (less than 100 buildings). The most common heat sources are horizontal geothermal collectors (in 23 networks) and borehole heat exchangers (17 networks). 74% of the networks studied provide not only heat but also cooling. Typical network temperatures are in the range of -5 to 20 °C. The survey results show that the pricing models as well as the political design decisions, such as the connection obligation, are very different in the districts.