The largely inefficient energy systems arond the South Baltic impact the environment and economic growth. The challenge is to increase commitment among decision makers, energy companies, local and regional authorities for energy saving investments. District heating is a technology in wide-spread use, and the advantages are well known among experts, and some decision makers. There are large opportunities to expand systems, add new services, and improve the efficiency and functionality of systems, and district heating organizations. Inno-Heat will use a method for learning by doing, and cross-border knowledge exchange in the area of district heating and develop a platform for knowledge-exchange across the South Baltic and Europe.
One key activity will be a survey of the status and improvement opportunities of the district heating systems in the region, which will be performed by the district heating associations and the other partners in the project. Another key activity will be the knowledge exchange around the district heating operators and systems that participate in the project, and the preparation of investment plans by implementation partners.
The first step in the method will be an analysis and a description of the current status of the systems. This will be used as a platform for the planning of technical visits to installations that are relevant to each district heating operator, expert presentations and problem solving workshops around key issues related to the implementation of the technology solutions. These activities will lead to the development of improvement and investment plans, and preparations, and possibly start-up of investment projects within the duration of the Inno-Heat project.
One of the key goals of the project is to establish a district heating organization around the South Baltic. This organization will continue the work of the project, spread the use of the method, and build a data-base of case studies of district heating projects. This organization will, for the long term, arrange information activities, seminars, conferences, and social media activities in order to promote the expansion of district heating in Europe and on a global basis.
The partnership of the project has been built based both on the need to fulfil the project objectives, and to create a platform for the future promotion of district heating. District heating operators and organizations like ESSS that will implement district heating technologies provide case examples and project and investment opportunities. The surveys by the associations will give an overview of systems status and improvement opportunities. Academic organizations will contribute knowledge about local sustainability and energy security. SIDA will involve Kaliningrad, and co-host a South Baltic district heating conference. Together the partnership contributes resources and competence for the short and long term during the project and for the future work of the organization.
The project has identified a suitable method of analyzing a district heating company’s current situation, have also proven that it can be adapted to specific conditions. Both the managerial as well as the technical structure differs between MEC Kolobrzeg and OPEC Gdynia, but the method is still flexible enough to efficiently isolate certain areas of improvement. The expert team has been of important help and they are also helping us to point out certain questions that are discussed during the third step of this phase, the individual meeting with the DH-companies. The management has together with Mats Larsson and the district heating companies worked on improving the method and we will keep on doing so in the future as well.
The project has therefore taken a very important step in the process of creating a Baltic Sea DH-platform. By having an effective method of analyzing a DH-companies current situation, we can use the knowledge to implement it in the next step of the project; the e-learning tool. The framework of the tool is now being discussed and designed in order to complement the method for analysis. Another achievement that is worth mentioning is the positive response from all partners. The partners’ willingness to improve and learn something new has made this project very dynamic and we hope that we will continue to see the same enthusiasm in order to continue with the progress. Study visits have also already been planned and we are currently just designing them in accordance to the DC-companies needs and requests. It should also be mentioned the project is receiving media exposure in the Swedish national DH newspaper, Fjärrvärmetidningen, where project manager Kamil Zajaczkowski was interviewed. The project has also been featured in the Swedish Newspaper Dagens Industri (COP bilaga)