The master heating plan sets the framework for the projected energy consumption and demand of the municipality towards 2020. It describes both the current situation of the municipality and the challenges that heating utilities are facing today, as well as projected scenarios for the future. The so-called “oil villages”, houses and buildings that are not connected to the district heating system and are still using oil as combustible, are one of the biggest challenges on the island.
To ensure a high quality master heating plan, NIRAS strived for a broad involvement of all the stakeholders, which all got to influence the design, development and results of the plan. The plan is based on the Danish national energy policy objectives, but also incorporates the municipality’s own climate strategy.
District heating networks coverage
The main focus of the master plan was the mapping of the current consumption and demand in the municipality. At a secondary level, the plan also focuses on the separate heating plants and the associated areas they are to supply. The plan furthermore addressed the "oil villages" by mapping areas and buildings not connected to the district heating network. The heating consumers in these areas would typically have individual oil burners. The municipality was keen on stopping this practice, since oil burners are sources of pollution with negative impact on the municipality’s climate accounts.
NIRAS visited all district heating utilities, so they all could share their vision of a future heating district plan.
The municipality of Lolland was already getting close to being CO2-neutral, as most of their energy production was based on bio masse (straw), but the “oil villages” nevertheless constituted a significant source of pollution and dragged the municipality’s climate accounts down significantly. The master heating plan describes amongst others how the municipality can utilize some of its potential to increase the effectivity of its district heating systems. It is, for example, a realistic possibility to merge separate, smaller heating distribution networks, as to create fewer, larger and much more efficient production plants.
Engagement of the district heating utilities
The heating plan included a mapping of the estimated amount of users of district heating in the municipality and the area that the district heating companies are supposed to cover. By the same token the heating demand and the CO2 emissions towards 2020 were calculated. These calculations are based on the data from the mapping data project ‘STEPS’, researched by the Roskilde University.
NIRAS established an efficient partnership with representatives from the municipality of Lolland and all the district heating utilities, as part of the master heating plan. It was an inclusive process in which the municipality and NIRAS visited all the utilities, in order for them to bring forward their ideas of how the future district heating supply could be shaped. In that way, the utility companies had a significant influence on the master plan prior to approval at the municipality council.