Definition: District heat
A heating system that uses steam or hot water produced outside of a building (usually in a central plant) and piped into the building as an energy source for space heating, hot water or another end use.
- District heating (also known as heat networks or teleheating) is a system for distributing heat generated in a centralized location for residential and commercial heating requirements such as space heating and water heating. The heat is often obtained from a cogeneration plant burning fossil fuels but increasingly also biomass, although heat-only boiler stations, geothermal heating, heat pumps and central solar heating are also used, as well as nuclear power. District heating plants can provide higher efficiencies and better pollution control than localised boilers. According to some research, district heating with combined heat and power (CHPDH) is the cheapest method of cutting carbon emissions, and has one of the lowest carbon footprints of all fossil generation plants. CHPDH is being developed in Denmark as a store for renewable energy, particularly wind energy, that exceeds instantaneous grid demand via the use of heat pumps and thermal stores.