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Local Power-to-Heat (P2H) district heating cooperatives : An exploration of the technical, economic, social and legal aspects of the establishment of a local P2H district heating cooperative in an existing residential area, particularly in the Netherlands.

Knol, A.F. (2018) Local Power-to-Heat (P2H) district heating cooperatives : An exploration of the technical, economic, social and legal aspects of the establishment of a local P2H district heating cooperative in an existing residential area, particularly in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Due to the depletion of fossil fuels and climate change, energy systems across the globe are going through a radical transformation (Koirala et al., 2016). Countries around the world intend to minimise the current dependency on fossil fuels and develop an energy system based on renewable energy sources (RES). In addition, no less than 197 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, which aims to limit the temperature increase to maximum 2 °C above pre-industrial level (UNFCC, 2015). The Netherlands, for example, aims to be CO2-neutral by 2050 (SER, 2013). The primary energy breakdown of the Netherlands reveals the magnitude of the heat demand, namely 58% of the final energy usage. That is why the transition to sustainable heat sources is crucial in the transition to a carbon-neutral energy system. Many scholars (e.g. Bloess et al., 2018; Koirala et al., 2016 and Yilmaz et al., 2018) point to the increasing role of electricity in the transition to a carbon-neutral heating sector. In addition, policies such as the European Roadmap (ECF, 2010) and the Dutch Energy Agenda (EZK, 2010), predict that electricity and DH systems will play an important role in establishing a sustainable heat supply. Electricity can be converted to heat by the application of P2H technology (the use of (large) heat pumps or electric boilers) (Averfalk et al., 2017). The application of P2H technology has three major obstacles at an individual level: (1) insufficient capacity of the low-voltage grid, (2) high investment costs as a result of expensive refurbishment and insulation, and (3) lack of space in existing houses (Ecofys, 2015). The application of P2H technology at a collective level (district), however, avoids these obstacles. Furthermore, collective P2H is a proven technology: it capable of energy storage, it contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions, and integrates the electricity and heat market (Yilmaz et al., 2018). Shell, the Dutch-British oil and gas multinational, supports a cooperative start-up that aims to design, build, own, and operate a pilot DH system. The pilot for circa 100-200 households is based on P2H technology and a cooperative governance structure. This pilot is called EcoGenie 2.0 and will be located in Paddepoel-Noord, an existing residential area in the city of Groningen. In order to be successful, it needs to increase comfort, reduce CO2 emissions with at least 50% and supply heat 10-20% cheaper based on the current situation in Paddepoel-Noord. Thermo Bello in Culemborg is the only Dutch example of a local P2H DH cooperative. As a result, there is little (scientific) knowledge and experience with P2H technology combined with a cooperative governance structure in the Netherlands. Yilmaz et al. (2018) states that in order to create a feasible business case and to establish a local P2H DH cooperative, it is necessary to develop all aspects of P2H integration simultaneously. Furthermore, Yilmaz et al. (2018) distinguished four ‘overarching’ aspects, namely: (1) technical aspects, (2) economic aspects, (3) social aspects, and (4) legal aspects. This thesis has developed a framework that includes the main technical, economic, social and legal aspects of establishing a local (P2H) DH cooperative in an existing residential area, particularly in the Netherlands. In addition, the aspects have been applied to EcoGenie 2.0 in Paddepoel-Noord and examined the economic feasibility by drawing up a business case. The main research question was: What are the main technical, economic, social, and legal aspects of establishing a local Power-to-Heat (P2H) district heating cooperative in an existing residential area, particularly in the Netherlands?
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/77442
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