1.1 Definition and scope of the study
A heat network is a set of one or more power plants (heat) that distribute of heat in a city or housing estate through the use of underground pipes most often installed under roads. Then, some delivery stations deliver heat to buildings connected to the network (individuals, companies or communities).
It is therefore a centralised heat distribution system that makes it possible to exploit all local energy resources. The setting up of heating networks also gives the possibility of using on a large scale local energies that cannot be used by other methods of heating (industrial waste heat or heat from waste incineration, geothermal energy on aquifers, heat from cogeneration plants, etc.).
Less common, the cold networks have a similar operation, but in reverse They collect the heat in the buildings they serve and discharge it to a central cooling plant.
In Europe, northern and eastern countries tend to make greater use of these heating and cooling network systems, with penetration rates often exceeding 50% compared to 5% in France for heating networks For their part, cooling networks only represent a small part of the cooling market, whereas they are particularly developed in countries such as Japan or the Middle East
However, the French market has been growing for the last ten years . The growth in the number of networks and the quantity of energy delivered should be very significant in the coming decades if we believe the objectives set by the government, which sees it as a way to decarbonise the heating and cooling of buildings. In fact, in heating networks, the share of renewable and recovered energy used has increased from about 31% in 2009 to almost 59% in 2019.
ENGIE and EDF dominates the market through their subsidiaries, but smaller dynamic players are also present on the market - such as Coriance and Idex
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