RES-DHC - Developing renewable energy sources in heating and cooling networks

Developing renewable energy sources in heating and cooling networks

The RES-DHC project is funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme and brings together a consortium of 15 partners whose objective is to increase the share of renewable energy in current district heating and cooling systems in the European Union.

The project aims to support key stakeholders (local authorities, heating network operators, engineering offices, industry, public and private financiers, policy makers, etc.) in achieving the objectives of the European Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) by increasing the share of renewable energy in district heating systems by at least 1%.


The 15 European project partners:

Development and implementation of RES-DHC in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

  • Initially, the French partners of the project, composed of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Energy Environment Agency (AURA-EE) and French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), will set up a Regional Strategic Committee which will implement a strategy and action plan by the end of 2021;
  • During 2022, the objective is to develop a module for mapping heating networks and thermal renewable energy potentials, with the aim of deploying it beyond Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. To achieve this, AURA-EE will mobilize its Terristory data-visualisation tool. In addition, support will be offered to project owners to find technical solutions to decarbonise heating networks;
  • Finally in 2023, our goal is to capitalize on the combine work at the European scale and disseminate the results of the project.

Participate in the regional trend

Are you an actor in the heating and cooling network sector and interested in the RES-DHC project? Let us know by filling in the questionnaire below:

- Call for expression of interest RES-DHC

The challenges of developing thermal Renewable energy potential

For several years, development of heating networks by local authorities in their territories has made it possible to mobilize renewable energy sources (wood energy, geothermal energy, recovered heat, etc), difficult to access and complex to exploit in urban areas. However, technical incompatibilities still exist and can sometimes slow down the development of "cleaner" installations.

RES-DHC project aims to develop the use of renewable energies (RES), particularly low temperature, in heating networks. At present, it is difficult to consume these renewable energies because of their incompatibility with current network’s operating temperatures. One of the objectives of RES-DHC will be to encourage heating network owners (local authorities) and operators to develop solutions for optimising operating temperatures of their installations. Furthermore, the renewable energies thermal potential of our territory is still untapped (either on geothermal, thermal solar energy or waste heat). The project aims at making this data available to local authorities and developers.

→ Thus, the project aims to modernise, extend and densify these networks by directing them towards the use of clean energy to fulfil the national and European objective of energy transition.

Key figures :

  • In Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 230 heating networks supply 91% of residential and tertiary buildings and 9% of other sectors (industry, agriculture);
  • 65% of heat sold by heating and cooling networks in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has a renewable or recovered origin, which corresponds to 230,000 homes or equivalent;
  • The cumulative length of the heating networks is 932 km in the region.





[Updated : March 2021]