Press release 2017-08-31

Smart cities can heat themselves

Every year, an enormous amount of energy is wasted across the EU. The new EU Reuseheat project aims to demonstrate four different scalable systems designed to reuse and recycle unused heat streams in urban environments. These systems utilize heat from, for example, subway systems and wastewater flows in residential buildings and offices.

– Heating systems can take advantage of the heat generated by the people living in the city; just being in the city can be part of the puzzle that is building a smart city. Cities could become self-sufficient when it comes to heating, says Kristina Lygnerud, Project Manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Program Manager for Reuseheat.

The project focuses on unutilized heat flows that can be incorporated into existing district heating systems. This is being carried out via four different demonstration projects located in France, Romania, Spain and Germany respectively. In Nice in France, heat is recycled from wastewater to warm up offices and hotels, and in Bucharest in Romania heat is extracted from ventilation circuits in the subway system. Energy from a nearby server hall will heat low-energy houses in Brunswick in Germany and in Spain heat from cooling systems will be used to phase out older systems based on combustion of fossil fuels.

– We are really putting a lot of effort into understanding how everything hangs together, the risks that are associated with multiple heating systems and how we can make ends meet financially. If we don’t get everything right nobody will want to invest in this kind of solution, says Kristina Lygnerud.

16 players from a number of European countries participate in the project, which is led by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The project is funded via the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020, and has a budget of 4 million euros.

For more information, please contact:
Kristina Lygnerud, kristina.lygnerud@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 69 27