Blockchain Technology is Becoming Essential For District Heating Management
Date: June 24th 2020
Author: Peter Palčec
“A lot of the different megatrends currently happening are connected with district heating, such as urbanisation, electrification, climate change, food supply and digitalisation. District energy can be a very sustainable approach to mitigating climate change and improving efficiency by providing optimisation solutions and optimal temperature control. District energy is connected to a lot of other sectors. Additionally, sources that provide energy for district heating are becoming very decentralised and are also striving to become fully decarbonised. Many of these sources are also renewable energy sources (RES). Managing these sources and district heating systems at the same time can be very challenging and blockchain technology can provide the necessary solutions,” said Saša Kojić, Senior Director for Business Unit Stations at Danfoss District Energy, in a webinar organised by Danfoss and Blockchain Think Tank Slovenia.
Klemen Zajc from the company Netis pointed out that today the use of blockchain technology is optional, however, the technology will become invaluable in the future. “With the decentralisation of the energy system that is happening, the secure and private exchange of data among all energy system stakeholders will be very important,” stressed Zajc.
Milan Jungič, Senior Business Development Manager at Danfoss District Energy, pointed out that when talking about district energy and the energy sector, a huge decentralisation process can be seen happening with a lot renewable energy sources and waste heat sources being added to the system. “Systems have a problem with flexibility due to RES. There is a great need for sector coupling and cross-sector flexibility. A lot of initiatives are currently taking place, such as how to include an increasing number of waste heat sources into district energy systems and how to allow third-party access to the system. All those initiatives could be a driver or a support for blockchain-driven solutions in district heating. This could provide a lot of flexibility to power grids if they are connected to district energy systems,” underlined Jungič.
Waste heat could provide heating and cooling for the whole of Europe
“By harnessing waste heat provided by different commercial businesses and putting them into a district energy network, enough heat and cooling energy could be provided for all of the residents in Europe. Blockchain technology could support and provide the necessary solutions to this challenge. On the other hand, surpluses of electricity from RES could be provided for heating. When talking about surplus electricity, if a system is able to covert electricity to hot water energy, the storage of this energy is a lot cheaper than, for example, in a battery,” explained Jungič.
According to Kojić, district energy has the ability to adapt to the surplus of energy that is coming from the power market. “When we talk about district energy, not only are we talking about heating but also about cooling and the use of heat pumps. Although the necessary technologies already exist, a lot of incentives and support from the state are needed,” commented Kojić.
This article is available also in Slovene.