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New video: Modern district heating systems save money and CO2

New video: Modern district heating systems save money and CO2

A new video will promote heat savings and district heating potential in Europe where the district heating grid should cover up to 50 percent of the heat demand, according to experts.

Heating currently comprises 40 percent of our energy use. All of this energy can become sustainable through modern district heating systems that collect excess heat from combined heat and power (CHP) plants and industry, and operate at low temperatures, decreasing heat waste and enabling use of more renewable energy sources. These are the key points of a new video designed to expand district heating in Europe.

“Our research shows that there is great potential for expanding the district heating grid in Europe by 30 to 50 percent, and the political will to make it happen is growing in our surrounding countries,” says Brian Vad Mathiesen, Professor of Energy Planning at Aalborg University.

He is deputy head of the 4DH research centre that unites industry, organisations and universities working with district heating, and is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark.

The message of the video is that modern district heating systems are necessary to decrease our CO2 emissions and obtain 100 percent renewable energy. At the same time, they are cost-efficient and create jobs.

“With this video we want to make sure that the knowledge we have obtained in our research reaches all parts of Europe. It explains in a comprehensive way the technologies and partnerships  we need in the future renewable energy system with electricity, heat and energy savings,” says Brian Vad Mathiesen.

District heating relevant worldwide

In recent years, district heating has gained significant political focus in e.g. the EU, giving the technology a prominent place in its new heating and cooling strategy. District heating has also become an important part of the United Nation Environment Programme’s work on achieving climate and sustainability goals.

“More and more people both in the research community and the political world are discovering how district heating is both a part of the solution to a fossil free energy system while also creating jobs and exports and having a positive effect on health,” says Henrik Lund, head of 4DH and Professor at Aalborg University.

The video premiered at a large conference on future district heating and intelligent energy systems in Aalborg. The large international popularity of the conference shows how relevant a topic district heating is abroad. Nearly 300 researchers and people from industry from 20 different countries all over the world visited the conference – apart from Europe, China, Korea and Japan were also strongly represented.

View the video “Smart Heating Europe” here: www.4dh.dk/video


2nd International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and 4th Generation District Heating was held in Aalborg, Denmark on September 27-28, 2016.
The conference was organised by the 4DH research centre at Aalborg University. 4DH is an international research centre, supported by  Innovation Fund Denmark. The purpose of the centre is to support the development of 4th generation district heating technologies and systems (4GDH).


  • Brian Vad Mathiesen, Professor, Deputy Head of 4DH, Tel.: +45 9940 7218.
  • Henrik Lund, Professor, Head of 4DH, Tel.: +45 9940 8309.
  • Further information and images: Nina Ferdinand, Communication Officer, nif@plan.aau.dk, Tel.: +45 9940 2527.