Jordan Wente: The socioeconomic potential for solar district heating in the Danish district heating sector, Master's Thesis,  DTU, Technical University of Denmark, 2017.


Denmark’s goal to achieve a fossil fuel free energy scenario by the year 2050 will require diverse, systems integrative approaches. A critical step towards this 2050 vision is to incorporate renewable heating sources. One potential source is solar thermal heating. The Danish solar district heating (SDH) inventory has grown from 1,000m2 of solar collector aperture in 1988 to over 1.3 million m2 aperture in 2016, equal to 919 MWth capacity. Over that period of time, an increased share of variable electricity sources such as wind and solar PV promote a greater electrification of heating sources, as cited by the 2017 Danish Energikommission recommendations. Between competing technologies and energy savings measures, there exist a wide range of potential solutions. To address the role of SDH from an energy systems perspective, this work assesses historical experiences, designs a user-friendly program to estimate hourly solar thermal performance across Denmark, conducts a GIS analysis of potential SDH siting, and simulates 2030 and 2035 energy scenarios via the energy systems model, Balmorel. The Balmorel model has been further developed by an addition of SDH-specific parameters as well as data pertaining to long term thermal pit storages. Results from a model optimisation under the Danish Energy Agency’s Wind scenario suggest a socioeconomic potential for 2.85 million m2 aperture, 2 GWth MWth capacity, in 2030 and 5.2 million m2 aperture, 3.59 GWth in a 2035 scenario.