Based on the results of this project's work and what emerged during discussions at completed workshops, the project, as an additional delivery, has prepared a program for a special session at an international district heating conference to be conducted in November 2020. Addressing the topics below, this conference aims to offer interesting presentations and fruitful discussions on how future challenges in the district heating sector can be tackled:
- How do today's policy instruments support and impact the transition to future district heating systems?
- How can digitalization and flexibility in heating and energy systems accelerate the transition towards future energy and district heating systems?
- How can new business models and customer solutions contribute to future energy and district heating systems? In particular, the new models and solutions that integrate and build on digitalization and flexibility will be addressed.
Global and national targets for climate and energy require an adaptation to future energy systems. The adaptation and the transition to new conditions will present challenges for the Swedish district heating sector, but also in corresponding areas in other countries, emphasizing the importance of sharing and exchanging research results and experiences from studies that have been conducted in different regions, countries and contexts. To meet and solve future challenges, technological innovations and flexible solutions will be of great importance. In light of this, the project has planned for a special session on the conference that aims to offer interesting presentations and forward-looking discussions about how future challenges in the field of thermal energy systems and, in particular, the district heating sector can be addressed.
In relation to above, it is relevant that the conference content considers how adaptation to new conditions in the district heating sector can be done through new business models and customer solutions, and in particular models and solutions that integrate and are based on digitalization and demand flexibility. The content of the conference session has been planned based on the importance of bringing in several actors' perspectives on current issues that are being addressed during the conference, for example from researchers, authorities, district heating companies, district heating and district cooling customers, as well as suppliers of, for example, digitization solutions. Based on Swedish conditions, this special session on the conference will take into account the importance of inspiration and experience from international research in the field of thermal energy systems, for example, by presenting and discussing conducted or ongoing international pilot and case studies.