The operation temperatures of today’s district heating systems are too high for a massive integration of renewable systems, while the current control systems are no able to properly introduce weather-dependent, distributed heat sources such as solar systems. The district heating strategy for the city of Belgrade (Serbia) addresses these barriers with the focus to de-carbonising the city on a multi-year transition plan, including large investments, greater interconnection levels with large solar thermal plants and waste incineration plants, and the conversion of a power plant into CHP, among others.

The size of the Belgrade district heating network, one of the biggest of Europe with >12PJ heat sales only compared to few district heating networks such as Copenhagen’s (>30PJ heat sales) or Stockholm´s DHs (>25PJ heat sales), makes its de-carbonisation highly relevant and challenging, requiring advanced technologies to reach the goals.

The ongoing upgrade and improvement on the technologies used has a great impact over the carbon balance of the city, including the importance on the operation at low temperature. The reduction on the temperature of the DH not only reduces the energy demand, but also allows the integration of renewable energies such as large solar thermal plants and waste incineration plants.

After the execution of the de-carbonisation roadmap, it is expected that the DH system will reduce its carbon intensity by 50%.

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