Demand driven HeatNet

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Low-Carbon technologies


The project´s objective is to share knowledge and experience on Heatnets: In a classical approach heatnets are rolled out when a new source (for example geothermic source) is realized and is in search of customers who are in need of the warmth. The location and the capacity of the source determines the parameters for the heatnet. This is a rather top-down-approximation which follows the sources rather than a strategic net on how to distribute the possible available heath over the region. In the city of Turnhout we would like to start with a combination of a strategic top-down-approach combined with bottom-up-projects on a smaller scale. In the top-down-approach we want to built up a strategie on how we can role out a heatnet in our region. In this map we look at possible existing sources and possible big users (old and big buildings, big housing projects, …). On this basis we create a strategic primary heatstructure which will be the backbone of our future heatnet. This primary heatstructure will be the basis for a search of new big-scale-sources (geothermic sources). In this matter we are starting up a new study on the geothermic potential on the site of the regional hospital AZ Turnhout, campus Sint-Jozef. http://www.azturnhout.be/Pub/AZ-Turnhout/Over-AZ-Turnhout.html (capacity of 25.500 receptions a year and one of the biggest employees of the city). This hospital has big expansion plans where we want to investigate the possibilities for geothermie who can be an important source for the primary heatnet in our region (together with other possible existing sources). In order to make these big-scale-sources fundable there is a need of enough off-set to create a positive business case for the realization of for example a geothermic source (investment of ca. 50 million euros). This is why we are at the same time working actively on a bottom-up-approach by creating ‘mini’-heatnets in several projects. At the moment we have two active projects: - the project ‘SLIM Turnhout (rail way area)’ will realize 600 new houses and a new office location. In this project the first phase of the heatnet is realized this spring. For this project a smaller source on wood chips is used. In the future this project can branch on the primary heatnet and the existing (smaller source) will serve as a back-up-system. - the project ‘Heizijdse Velden’ will realize 2.800 new houses on a sustainable way. A first subproject of 500 houses ‘Heizijde phase 1’ is in the phase where we are now designing the heatnet and in search of smaller sources. For the entire project a mesonet is designed. In a later phase this heatnet can branch on the primary heatnet of the region. There are many other projects suitable for the realization of heatnets. Furtermore there are other possible projects in different ‘heritage sites’: to respect the criteria of the infrastructure/builings of the heritage of schools, castle,…. but investigate how we can transfer the heatings systems into a more sustainable one. Finally we are also in search of a strategy on how we can transfer existing housing areas on the primary heatnet. Because of the historical approach on building houses in Belgium (individual building and rarely project building) this is a difficult exercise.

Creation date: 31/05/2016

Bloc onglets

Bloc 1

Overall objective

The project´s ambition is to overbridge the lack of knowledge and experiences related to heatnets in existing sites and new – to develop sites to attract private investors to create sources f.e. drill for geothermical energy.

Bloc 2


1. a strategy on how to realize a strategic heatnet that efficiently covers the city region without missing future opportunities (starting from supply and demand and not only from supply). 2. one economic based study who gives an answer on the question: when is it for private investors attractive/safe/… enough to drill (geothermal energy)? If it’s evidence based there are enough micro Heatnets available in the city. 3. knowledge platform of project partners, with minimum 1 pilot for existing sites in each partner city and minimum 1 pilot for new to develop sites in each partner city.

Bloc 3

Expected result

Promote new approaches and initiate updates of strategies, methodologies, standards and action plans used in the public sector for heatnets. The outputs will be used to (re)shape relevant public policies and support public actions in the area of heatnet systems.

Bloc 4

Cross-border added-value

1. Investigate how we can transfer the heatings systems in the 2Seas area into a more sustainable one. Crossborder strategy in the 2seas area on how we can transfer existing housing areas on primary heatnets. 2. Cross border knowledge and experiences related to heatnets in existing sites and new – to develop sites to attract private investors to create sources f.e. drill for geothermical energy.