New handbook on upgrading district heating grids in Europe published

The Upgrade DH project, funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research program, supports the upgrading and retrofitting process of DH systems in different climate regions of Europe, covering various countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, and The Netherlands.

 In each of the target countries, the upgrading process will be initiated at concrete DH systems of the so-called Upgrade DH demonstration cases (demo cases). The gained knowledge and experiences will be further replicated to other European countries and DH systems (replication cases) in order to leverage the impact. From Bosnia and Herzegovina, power utility JP Elektroprivreda BiH d.d.-Sarajevo (EPBiH) has been participating in the project with its case study Tuzla DH, while Toplane Sarajevo utility and Grijanje Kakanj distribution utility, through cooperation with EPBiH, follow the project as replication cases.

District Heating (DH) systems present a high potential for the transition of the heat sector, both technically and organizationally. They allow the integration of renewable energies, they serve to improve the overall energy efficiency and they facilitate sector coupling (coupling between heating, electricity and mobility). However, many DH systems need to be continuously upgraded so that they are more efficient and have close to zero emissions and thus, contribute to mitigate climate change.

Core activities of the Upgrade DH project include the collection of the best upgrading measures and tools, the support of the upgrading process for selected DH networks, the organisation of capacity building measures about DH upgrading, financing and business models, as well as the development of national and regional action plans. In addition, an image raising campaign for modern 4th generation DH networks will be carried out in the Upgrade DH project. The outcome will be the initiation of DH upgrading process in the above-mentioned target countries and beyond. 

More than one year was needed to put on paper all the knowledge of the Upgrade DH consortium partners, led by coordinator WIP Germany,  and to elaborate a handbook with the title “Upgrading the performance of district heating networks - Technical and non-technical approaches; A Handbook”. Experiences and knowledge from different European countries were used to describe the technical and non-technical approaches in DH upgrading processes. The handbook is available in English and 6 other languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Italian, Lithuanian, and Polish. The aim of the handbook is to inform stakeholders such as decision makers, politicians, utilities, operators, end consumers, or potential developers of DH systems, about upgrading opportunities. Thereby, the ambition of the handbook is not to provide a detailed technical guideline for technicians, but rather to give an overview on upgrading options. The handbook is available for free as pdf document at