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Smart District Heating and Cooling in Paris Saclay: The most innovative DHC grids in Europe

This article is an excerpt from the publication:
Efficient district heating and cooling systems in the EU
Case studies analysis, replicable key success factors and potential policy implications

French district heating systems have been developed mainly in the 1980’s after the oil crisis. More recently, with the introductio of renewables in DHC systems and associated subsidies, their development is moving forward but DH market share remained at 6% of the national heat demand in 2015.

Paris Saclay Smart District Heating and Cooling Network will become one of the most innovative DHC grids in Europe and is an interesting example of what could be the future of those networks. It combines renewables, low temperature exchange networks, demand management, heat storage, articulation with electrical and natural gas grids, in adistrict which is France’s largest technology and science cluster, exclusively composed of low energy consumption buildings.

Some of the key factors contributing to the success of the DHC project include i) a mutualisationof operation and investment costs; ii) secured future energy sales; iii) an adequate level of subsidies, based on robust criteria; iv) a political willingness to develop the project; v) managed by a dedicated fully empowered local authority.

**About the publication**

Based on a holistic case studies analysis of 8 efficient district heating and cooling systems in different European Member States (Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden), the study identifies the key factors enabling to develop high quality, efficient and low-carbon DHC systems, discusses how these key success factors can be replicated in the EU and provides a better view on the role and features of these systems, which can provide an evolutive backbone to balanced energy transitions. Finally, it suggests some potential policy guidelines to support their deployment.