Innovative and sustainable heat supply

Common challenges for energy suppliers, communes and the housing industry

The sustainability goals at federal and state level in Germany require a climate-friendly heat supply. The goal of a climate-neutral building stock by 2045 can only be achieved through an innovative and sustainable heat supply. Therefore, energy suppliers and communes as well as the housing industry must face common challenges and work together in order to master them. Fraunhofer IFAM provides support with strategic planning of the heat supply and takes into account the various possible supply options and their economic efficiency.


Strategies for heat supply must be developed

The heat turnaround presents many energy utilities with the challenge of sustainably transforming the supply of heat to their customers. In order to be able to meet the sustainability goals, a strategic orientation of the heat supply is already required, which is designed for the next 30 to 50 years.

When developing a long-term strategy, the current condition of the buildings to be supplied and the structure of the heat supply must first be recorded and analyzed. Then, various options for heat supply are examined. The use of renewable energies and the development of waste heat potentials are central aspects. In addition, it will be investigated how the heat demand in existing buildings can be reduced in the future through renovations, how CO2 emissions from the energy supply can be reduced, and at the same time how the supply can be kept as economical as possible.

Our experts have already gained important insights from various consulting projects for energy suppliers, e.g. in the project "Prospects for heat supply in the Nuremberg urban area until 2050". In this context, we actively work together with the specialist staff in the municipal utilities and housing companies to develop the necessary decision-making basis for the strategic further development of the heat supply. This includes, in particular, analyzing the development of heat demand and heat generation by means of various scenarios.


Examine options for heat supply for the housing industry

New buildings can already be designed as passive houses or even energy-plus houses; therefore, the major challenge for the housing industry lies in the existing building stock. For although the energy consumption of existing buildings has been reduced in recent years through renovation measures, considerable efforts are still required to achieve the goal of a climate-neutral building stock by 2045.

The options with which a sustainable and economical heat supply can be achieved are diverse and must be considered for each building or building type. With our know-how, we identify possible supply options, taking into account the locally available potentials of renewable energies and waste heat sources. In doing so, we also evaluate the opportunities and obstacles as well as the economic efficiency of the options.

Here, too, we work closely with local stakeholders throughout the investigation process and jointly develop a strategy for sustainable and economical heat supply. In doing so, we also take into account the effectiveness of the measures already taken. We have already been able to contribute our experience in this area to many consulting projects for the housing industry, for example in the project "Integrated neighborhood concept for the Wilhelmshaven-Siebethsburg urban neighborhood".


Sustainable and economical heat supply

If energy suppliers, communes, and the housing industry work strategically towards making the heat supply to buildings more sustainable, the goal of a climate-neutral building stock by 2045 can be achieved together. Karen Janßen and Dr. Karin Jahn from the Energy Systems Analysis Group at Fraunhofer IFAM would like to support you here! The experts have been dealing with current issues of sustainable, affordable, and secure energy supply for years.