Interreg North West Europe - HeatNet

Interreg North West Europe

The project “Transition strategies for delivering low carbon district heat” (HeatNet) is an Interreg NWE project under the programme priority “Low carbon technologies”. It aims to greatly increase the installed heating capacity of District Heating and Cooling (DHC) networks and the provision of affordable warmth by accelerating transition to 4th generation DHC in North West Europe urban areas, and so make significant new contributions to CO2 emission reductions. The HeatNet project brings together 14 partners from 5 European countries that belong to complementary types of innovation territories in NWE, including Universities (Amsterdam (NL) and Gent (BE)), public bodies (Dublin (IE), Kortrijk (BE), Heerlen (NL), Boulogne-sur-Mer (FR), Plymouth (UK), Aberdeen (UK)), EU networks (Energy Cities(FR)), SME networks (CAP2020 (BE)), Energy Agencies (Codema (IE), 7Vents (FR)), and regional agencies (Leiedal (BE), Cerema (FR)). HeatNet will run from 15/09/2016 until 14/03/2020 and is coordinated by the City of Dublin Energy Management Agency Ltd (Codema).


Description of the project

Interreg NW-Europa HeatNetHeatNet will address the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions in NWE by creating an integrated transnational NWE approach to the supply of renewable and low carbon heat (incl. waste heat) to residential and commercial buildings, developed and tested in 6 local district heating and cooling networks (DHC) in UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. In North, East and Central Europe DHC supplies up to 50% of heat demand but in NWE only 2-7%. DHC facilitates energy efficiency, less CO2 emissions and a greener economy. The overall objective is to introduce and demonstrate the 4th generation DHC (4DHC) in NWE. This is a low-temperature distribution system to minimise heat loss, integrated energy storage and supply to multiple low energy buildings. The concept requires the development of new institutional and organizational frameworks. The project will result in 15,000 t CO2 saved per annum at its end. The main outputs are: 1. A transferrable HeatNet-model for the implementation of 4DHC schemes in NWE; 2. Six living labs develop, test and demonstrate through investments the HeatNet-model to make it robust; 3. Transition Roadmaps plan for roll out of new technical, institutional & organizational arrangements in 6 living labs (new roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, regulation & policies, spatial planning, business models & viability, connection to finance and markets, acceptance, etc); 4. Promotion and fostering of the HeatNet-model in NWE through Transition Roadmaps to secure wide and long term impact of HeatNet. The consortium combines emerging NWE-knowhow on 4DHC (Mijnwater BV, academic, energy planning) with the capacity in the long term to reduce institutional & organizational barriers and to deliver permanent infrastructure at local and regional level. Multiple partners expertise is diverse and needed to jointly develop and promote the HeatNet-model and assist 6 successful living labs at the investment sites.


Europese Unie logo vlag met naamObjectives

These are the objectives of HeatNet:

  • To transfer and replicate 4DHC solutions in other urban areas

  • To understand barriers and identify solutions to delivery, and understand the routes of transition to 4DHC

  • To develop practical guidance on how to build and finance 4DHC projects


Role of Ghent University

  • UoG will be a core part of the project Evaluation Team, that evaluates the pilots and uses their lessons learnt as an input to the HeatNet-model.
  • For the Kortrijk investment, at each phase of investment UoG will review and advise on proposals, against 4DHC principles
  • UGent will contribute to the HeatNet-model by creating a non-technical guide to 4DHC that will inform decision makers regarding principles & characteristics of 4DHC, explaining its benefits and how it differs from traditional DHC. UoG will also create diagnostic and planning tools like 4DHC heat mapping, CO2 emission calculator, tested on selected pilots.
  • The UoG Energy Knowledge platform Power-Link will take care of the communication actions for the Flemish project partners UoG, city of Kortrijk and Leiedal.



Prof. dr. Martijn van den Broeck
Department of Flow, Heat & Combustion Mechanics
Phone number: 056 24 12 45

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This project has received funding from the Interreg North West Europe programme 2014-2020 co-funded by the Province of West-Flanders.